We’re getting all academic around here! Good buddy, all-around stud and Celebrity Guest Editor Ben Hoyt of 47Games pointed me to the yonder video of his friend professor Jeremy Douglass of UCSD giving what I can only describe as a really fascinating lecture on passwords. Sound boring? Sound pointless? Wrong! Not only is Dr. Douglass a great speaker, but he’s not just talking about how passwords should have symbols and capital letters. He’s talking about what they mean, and how they’re inherently alien to the human method of cognition. Let your fingers do the clicking to see more.
This is a 34 minute video, so give yourself some time (I recommend any period when you’re at the office and have headphones).
The revelation that passwords are becoming identity, and that identity is therefore becoming something that’s not innately natural to the human brain, is both intriguing and scary. It’s like the Neverending Story line – “do I understand you right? Your body is this melody? What if you should cease to sing? Would you cease to be?”
As passwords grow ever more prevalent in our society, they are rapidly co-opting other forms of identification. Imagine a day in the far future when a person forgets their Password (something our brains are practically programmed to do). It would almost be like losing yourself altogether, because without that one key to identify you, what else is there?
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