God help me, my mother has a computer.
She never expressed an interest in computers before. There have been many computers in my house growing up. She mostly ignored them. Except in the days when I would dial Bulletin Board Systems with my 300 baud modem, then she'd yell at me for tying up the phone for hours. Other than that, she barely acknowledged their existence.
I have no idea what changed, but now she has a PC in her home. Nothing fancy. My game rig could swallow it and still be hungry. But it has all the parts it needs to be a well-rounded system, including a modem. This is a terrible thing. It means that all she has to do is call up an Internet Provider, and she's online.
I've always assumed my mother would never go online, never get an email account. So I've been treating the Internet like international waters--anything goes. I've written about anything and everything, no taboos. I've used exceptionally naughty language to describe my exceptionally naughty exploits. And I had the bad sense to use my real name, and not an alias. All she has to do is type my name into a search engine, and it will all come up.
And what might she find? Well, a zillion game and movie reviews, no big deal there. But some of my extracurricular writings will expose some things I'd rather mommy not know about. My mother may suspect I'm a degenerate. One visit from your friendly installer of [email protected] and she'll have proof.
Let my give you an example of the sort of thing that might come up. Quite recently I started teaching a course. One of my students did a web search for my name. One of the first things he came up with was a CoN article I wrote called "Would You Date Yourself If You Were Gay?" While I stick by my deep philosophical musings that arose from that topic, I'm not sure I want my mother reading about that. She might get the wrong idea. As for my class, I've noticed that it gets really hard to act like a serious instructor of relevant topics when your class knows you're the author of "Personal Life Management Can Lick My Nutsack."
Let's see, what else might she find?
Ah, me claiming to have kiss a man in "The War Against Stupidity," and having a relationship with someone named "Cocoa the Dancing Monkey."
Me confessing to writing "If this bitch hits me with that goddam stick I will throw her and stomp her fucking head in, so help me God," in my high school American History text book.
Me claiming to have been gang-raped by the Toronto Raptors' Cheerleading squad in "Sexually Transmitted Poison Ivy."
Me hosting a gameshow called "Quizmaster" featuring a contestant named "DirtyGirl," a crude cybersex applet.
My lengthy discourse on the benefits of smoking in "Hey Kids! Smoking is Good For You!" She just quit no too long ago too.
An article penned by me called "I Dropped My Pen... Time for a Killing Spree." Little needs to be added to that.
And, how clever, she'll find an article I just wrote reiterating that I wrote all these things.
|The Porn Virus|
|Cryptography That Could End Software Piracy|
|If TV's LOST Was a 1987 Point-and-Click Computer Game|
|How to Fix a Stuck Pixel on an LCD Monitor|
|“Recent advances in the field of artificial intelligence.”|
|“A two-legged robot created by Agility Robotics, designed to get your delivery from a car to your door.”|
|“Many [Silicon Valley] parents now have serious concerns about tech's impact on kids' psychological and social development.”|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|“The company is losing billions, has essentially no underlying value, and its business could be hammered overnight.”|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|“A deep fake sex video emerges in a Google search of your name.”|
|Naked Preacher Lady [NSFW]|
|“Self-driving trucks will begin hauling mail between USPS facilities.”|
|“How these systems are being fused together to design new regimes of totalitarian surveillance and control.”|
|“Some of the things that I have to tell you might induce some feelings of anxiety.”|