Quotes form the main project description:
“Inexpert dealing with technology may have decisive impact on technology users. Commonly accessible technology is generally considered to be easy to manage. The user who believes so, however, makes himself/herself subject to processes which he/she is not able to conceive.“
A technically unchallenging replacement of an e-mail sender’s name by the name of the recipient may serve as a good example. After receiving the e-mail, the recipient assumes that the e-mail is written and sent by himself/herself. He/she reads it and becomes perplexed about whether it is, indeed, his/her own message or, perhaps, someone else’s. The user does not know how to handle a situation never before experienced. Disturbed, he/she tries to protect his/her own ego against a potential threat.
The message asks a question written in a particular way so that it seems that the recipient addresses himself/herself. Thus, while reading, the recipient, unwittingly, actually puts the question to himself/herself. A peculiar moment occurs in which a strange text becomes our own thought, when something outer becomes inner.
Our private space is violated by e-mail communication precisely because an e-mail address is something we consider our very own, personal. More, the user feels violated for he/she is already attached to technology (via virtual communication) and regards it as a part of his/her self. The uneasiness that takes place when reading strange – one’s own e-mail is a situation that can lead us to deeper reflection on to what extent technology has become a part of who we are.
Behind the curtain:
This project was for long time unconnected with me, in order to keep it’s nature intact and hidden for all but people who get the message.
“Scary Thoughts” project supposed to address our inner selves with question of the technological amplitude and it’s impact on human beings. I’m aware that this issue is not unknown and many people focused on it in a past and will in a future. “Scary thoughts” project has to only extends the question to our presence because it is still unresolved and fresh.
The project was done from nearly 100% on the Open Source technologies in order to show a power of the knowledge nowadays, when we do not need extra budget to accomplish our goals even connected with complex technology.
One of the result is a script (program) which was developed for the email harvesting (code on code.google).
This piece of code helps me harvest around 100 000 emails freely published on websites. Of course I could use many other even more powerful tools “on the market” but I felt the necessity to have the private experience with technological process and so get deeper into something I’m criticising.
Finally I openly confess “I have done it” and I take full responsibility for it as I did when I build it or even distributed the messages.
the project page: http://scarythoughts.info