Sunday, April 03, 2005

The Case of Corey

Like many of you in Bloggerville, I've been reading about the story of Corey, the homeless boy, hooked up to a wi-fi connection at a Starbucks in Manhattan. I have especially enjoyed the numerous comments to these stories that range from sympathy to disgust concerning Corey's circumstances but my favorite comment, by far, comes from teenwolf on chris diclerico's blog:
"This person marks the unshakeable presence of our digital age. Here is a revolutionary who has no personal posessions nor a means of income in the "respectable" sense to support himself. Yet, he is able to stay alive and has the belief that his future lays in discarded technology. He has nothing else except for the bare essentials: his tools to communicate and his brain. Yet it is sufficient enough for him to find purpose in day-today living.

This person is not stupid. He is smart enough to make discarded computers operational and go on-line through wi-fi. This marks the complete abandon, belief and reliability of technology to enhance our livelihood - regardless if you have money or non at all.

dreamseeker"

Yes, as "dreamseeker" has so aptly pointed out, this is a revolutionary phenomenon. He has obviously made the courageous philosophical choice to believe that his future lays entirely in discarded technology. This is clearly someone who has a very new and distinctive digital philosophy and is someone that we should look to for insights into the new age we find ourselves facing...

...This is no slack-jawed gawker my friends, this is the digital prophet for our generation.
teenwolf

Perhaps unwittingly, teenwolf hits on an issue that is dear to me - the abandonment of r/l for an o/l world.

In the Real World, Corey is a homeless spectacle, an object of ridicule, pity, and irritation. At the same time, like all homeless people, he is willed into invisibility by the Real Worlders. A homeless person is a type of ghost, existing in non-existence. I know because I have been a ghost and, in many ways, I still am.

I live in the Virtual World. Rent and DSL hold equal importance to me but, if I was forced to choose, I would choose the DSL. Real Worlders call it frivolous. Virtual Worlders know better.

What saddens me most about this story is that Corey's previously protected enclave has been infiltrated. Soon his online identity will be discovered. It is only a matter of time before he will be rooted out. His Virtual home will be wrested from him and he will be forced back into Reality by malicious and well-meaning aide.

And then, where would he be?

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