Back home, they know your mother's maiden name

Think of a
Stephen Baker

Think of a "security solutions" expert at one of the portals or e-commerce sites. He looks around the room at his colleagues gathered in Dulles or Sunnyvale any tech exurb, and he thinks: What is it about me that no one here could guess? For a generation now, the answer has been, "My mother's maiden name." David Weinberger says it's time for new clues.

The maiden name question reflects a blind spot of the tech culture: the missing village. The usual path for an ambitious person in tech is to leave home. So it's natural to assume that everyone else has a life path full of twists, turns, and trans-continental moves. But in towns and villages across the world, one of the many things people know about their friends and neighbors is the mother's maiden name. Some might even recall who caught the bouquet at her wedding. (Maybe that could be a new clue.)

Just a small sign that people (including myself, I'll be the first to admit) often fall out of step with billions of other earthlings.

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