Friday, 21 November 2014

encryption key or legacy software

Kottke points our attention to a fantastically thoughtful article (with a stirring multimedia accom- paniment) in the New York Times Magazine on the secret lives of the maligned password, and how those choice secret words, encoded within certain, strict parameters are not just a means to access one’s private accounts but also ways to make quiet little statements, mantras, devotions, goals and even confessions and unlock one’s heart. The author of this story encountered many sweet and tortured surprises, histories and heritages that all were opened up with the key of the asking what individual’s passwords meant to them—and the resistance that the reporter experienced when soliciting watchwords from strangers was not over security or privacy concerns (though many use the same string of characters across multiple platforms) but rather having to pull these hidden keepsakes and tributes out of the dungeon and into the real world, however anonymously. I wonder what part of ourselves we might be losing without whispering with our keyboards daily as the convention password is be replaced by other bolts and locks.