Tag Archives | Identity

Rare Mutation Leaves People Without Fingerprints

No PrintsThis would be a useful trait for the aspiring supervillian. Natalie Villacorta wrote recently in Science:

In 2007, a Swiss woman in her late 20s had an unusually hard time crossing the U.S. border. Customs agents could not confirm her identity. The woman’s passport picture matched her face just fine, but when the agents scanned her hands, they discovered something shocking: she had no fingerprints.

The woman, it turns out, had an extremely rare condition known as adermatoglyphia. Peter Itin, a dermatologist at the University Hospital Basel in Switzerland, has dubbed it the “immigration delay disease” because sufferers have such a hard time entering foreign countries. In addition to smooth fingertips, they also produce less hand sweat than the average person. Yet scientists know very little about what causes the condition.

Since nine members of the woman’s extended family also lacked fingerprints, Itin and his colleagues, including Eli Sprecher, a dermatologist at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center in Israel, suspected that the cause might be genetic.

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What Google And Facebook Get Wrong About Self Expression And Identity

Google and Facebook would have you believe that you're a mirror, that there is one reflection that you have, this one idea of self. But in fact we're more like diamonds, you can look at people from any angle and see something totally different. 4chan founder Chris Poole discusses the problem with personal identity as conceived by Facebook and Google. Basically, that they expect us to maintain a single, consistent persona throughout life, which is not how we actually exist:
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In Defense of the Hipster: Part 2

HipsterShark2PART 2: AUTHENTICITY IS BULLSHIT, or: POP IS THE NEW PUNK

(Part 1, titled “What Is A Hipster, And Why Does Everyone Hate Them? or: You’re So Fake (And So Am I), can be found here.)

As noted in Part 1, the main thrust of the criticisms against hipsters have roots in a notion of authenticity.  Lorentz mentions the words “authentic” and “inauthentic” a dozen times in his article, and the Adbusters piece is just as bad. It’s a fair charge to say that hipsters fetishize the authentic, as Lorentz does. This is hardly unique to hipsters, though; one can find it in practically any sub-culture. It’s so common that I find it disingenuous to use it as a criticism of hipsters and Hipsterism. The problem, as I see it, is that notion of authenticity being used is utter bullshit.

Some years ago, before I became a hipster or had even heard of hipsters, I was confirmed as “real” at a party by a group of counter-culture kids.… Read the rest

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In Defense of the Hipster

Hipster SharkPART ONE: WHAT IS A HIPSTER, AND WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE THEM? or: YOU’RE SO FAKE (AND SO AM I)

My name is Tuna Ghost and I have a confession: I’m a hipster.

One may think this is a self-defeating statement, like “this sentence is false” or “all Cretans are liars, says so-and-so of Crete”, as one of the commonly accepted hallmarks of a hipster is that he or she will vehemently deny that they are a hipster.  This bit of conventional wisdom is easily verified, all one has to do is ask the hipsters around one if they self-identify as a “hipster”.  Personally, I have to look no further than my own friends to see evidence of it.  By the traditional definition of “hipster” they are obviously hipsters, but thus far I am the only one who will gladly self-identify as such. One may wonder why anyone in their right mind would identity with a subculture that has become synonymous with shallowness, lack of authenticity and sneering douche-baggery (my friends certainly do), but in this article I will demonstrate that this is not a fair assessment of Hipsterism.… Read the rest

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Utah’s Mystery Prisoner

The Mystery Man (via Utah County Sheriff)

The Mystery Man (via Utah County Sheriff)

What should police do with someone who commits a minor crime, is in custody, but there is absolutely no clue as to who he is? The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is struggling with exactly that conundrum, reports James Nelson for Reuters:

A mystery man arrested on minor charges more than three weeks ago remains behind bars in Utah while law enforcement officials try to determine his true identity, which he refuses to reveal.

“This is really a strange case,” said Lt. Dennis Harris with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. “He just doesn’t want to be found.”

The unidentified man, who has graying hair, a light beard and is believed to be in his 60′s, was arrested on July 1 for trespassing in a parking garage.

He was booked into jail on three misdemeanor charges and has thwarted any chance of release, with or without bail, by refusing to identify himself.

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Man Flies From JFK To LA Without Valid ID Or Boarding Pass

Photo: Magnus Manske (CC)

Photo: Magnus Manske (CC)

While the TSA is busy being as thorough as they possibly can, it seems other aspects of the airport personnel are not up to par. Via The Gothamist:

While the Transportation Security Administration may or may not be making old ladies take off their Depends during screening, there’s this: A Nigerian man managed to board a Los Angeles-bound flight at JFK Airport without a valid boarding pass or valid identification. Olajide Olwaseun Noibi used a fake ID and an expired boarding pass to get onto Virgin America Flight 415.

WCBS 2 reports, “The FBI says Noibi sat in the main cabin and when a flight attendant asked him to show his boarding pass, he produced the expired pass. Noibi was still allowed to get off the plane when it landed in Los Angeles.” Great! And how did Noibi get the pass?ABC News explains:

“On that pass was the name of a man with the initials M.D.

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The Age Of Perpetual Self-Branding

imageFacebook wants to be the place where you feel most yourself, with the most control over how you are regarded. It inextricably intertwines marketing with selfhood, so that having a self becomes an inherently commercial operation.

Writing for n+1, Rob Horning concocts a frightening, fantastic, and thought-provoking essay on how we live today, connecting the reign of “fast fashion” companies such as Forever 21, social media such as Facebook, and 21st century capitalism’s demand that workers market and reinvent themselves endlessly:

I’ve always thought that Forever 21 was a brilliant name for a fast-fashion retailer. These two words succinctly encapsulate consumerism’s mission statement: to evoke the dream of perpetual youth through constant shopping. Yet it also conjures the suffocating shabbiness of that fantasy, the permanent desperation involved in trying to achieve fashion’s impossible ideals.

Despite apparently democratizing style and empowering consumers, fast fashion in some ways constitutes a dream sector for those eager to condemn contemporary capitalism, as the companies almost systematically heighten some of its current contradictions: the exhaustion of innovative possibilities, the limits of the legal system in guaranteeing property rights, the increasing immiseration of the world workforce.

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How To Disappear Completely

5721E7FD3912AE8DB6B0FB_LargeCSO interviews skip tracer Frank Ahearn about how to vanish from society, skipping off to a tropical island or a clean start in North Dakota, if you don’t want to be found. The key is to put out a flood of misinformation:

You can’t legally change an identity. Identities are kind of this myth. Where do you get one from? And how do you know where it’s from and that it hasn’t been given to fifty other people? Who knows if it’s on the Megan’s Law list or if it belongs to someone who owes the IRS $100,000?

But sometimes you can open a corporation, depending on what you do, and work on a 1099. So, what we do in a nutshell, is make you a virtual entity where you work for this corporation. You lease your apartment through this corporation, your electricity, your phone. Everything about you exists under the corporation.

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Google Collects Kids’ Social Security Numbers During Contest

GoogleGoogle has been criticized, yet again, for its data gathering process. In the contest “Doodle-4-Google,” children were asked to redesign the home page logo, and for their social security numbers. The International Business Times reports:

Google’s data gathering has come under fire again, this time because of an art contest for children.

The “Doodle-4-Google” contest invites children to redesign the home page logo. The contest has been in place for four years, and this year the theme is “What I’d like to do someday…”

The problem was in the registration form, which asked for the last four digits of the child’s social security number and the city of their birth, as well as the name and address of the parent or legal guardian.

Stories appeared in New York Magazine and The Huffington Post, but Google changed the registration form to omit the question about the last four digits of the social security number on Feb.

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