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Editorial : 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Romaneste va rog

Relation and Immunity

To conjure away physical details gets to be at least second nature if not necessity for a generation of people grown up in an acutely computerized environment. The complex of personalities (not the complex personality, NB) that lies inside everyone of us tends to be developing each of its facets protected by a virtuality declared as such and made irremediably real, more concrete as physical treats disappear. The relationship with an e-character is not a multiple one, taking into account all aspects, irrelevant as they could be but it is a much more restrained relationship. At the same time, the person that cultivates his (or her) component parts as separate entities will try to live for each of them, rarely considering together the attributes of different parts. Such an approach appears as radical and few are those who want to and succeed in taking it. The fact is the separation becomes more obvious with the growth of experience regarding relationships on the Internet. More than that, there is the possibility for a multiple individual to try to transfer the success of his / or her Internet experience into daily life. One of the possible references for such a "completation" would be the movie "Beeing there". There is an absolutely memorable moment in that movie when the main character tries to switch channels with the remote control to wipe away the image of the youth that are assaulting him for real. Only that the issue in the movie was the television bidimensional model while on the Internet there are n-dimensional problems at the relationships level and the transfer is not made through a simple copying of the "push a button" action but it is made by putting in practise an elaborated strategy that presents a different person for each and every relation. One has the trust to proceed like this for an appearance of immunity is generated which is in fact the common point linking Gardner and netizen. Everything happens on the screen. We can withdraw whenever we like. We are mature people and able to decide if we don't want to "play" anymore. To a Web neophite, especially to a mature one, these things are obvious and the false impression is created that navigation through an unrestricted space can be canceled anytime. Very convincing demonstrations are made to this purpose but they are grounded mainly on insufficient understanding of the type of relationship established between partners. Almost nobody does consider subliminal aspects, the filling in made by imagination, desire or personal motivation during the chat-partner's recognition process. Only fresh experiences make a neophite open to the "miracle" and trust completely the people met in chat rooms on discussion lists or within some other Internet communities. After a while, the desire to show off is replaced by the passion of building up certain so-called "characters". It is obvious we can't pretend too long to be those that we are not or "something" that is not part of ourselves. The choice of the construction type is thus predetermined. We will see the appearance of constructive embryos in the evolution of people who are extending their lives into the virtual field (we call "virtual" only that component of the very real life represented by the Internet ). Physical details (real address, phone etc.) are pale or replaced by metaphor. Users appeal more often to false coordinates, usually free e-mail services that don't give or ask for references. Words of discourses are changing (more or less successfully). The more a person is complex or intelligent teh more difficult is to follow and distinguish all his /or her facets. In this respect, one of the most interesting and difficult developments is the change of sex. An informed reader or a professional would realize at once the fake but normal people are easily trapped. I don't want to talk about moral issues , I don't think that there is anything to talk about but I suggest a theme of reflection over a future, not so far away or SF when the Web is going to be total and inevitable.

Dan Iancu

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