Pilot or Governor

Due Tuesday, October 4, 2011, by 5 PM PDT
Post the reply below
250-500 words
10 points


  1. To make an initial contribution to the blog, learning its mechanics and surfacing any obstacles to using it.
  2. To explore issues of identity and the internet, bringing closure to a topic.
  3. To provide students an opportunity for feedback on course performance.
  4. To provide provide an experience of critical writing.
  5. To get to know each other better.
  6. To surface the course theme of “public and private.”
  7. To formulate a point of view and support a position.

Who are you on Facebook? Are you a cyberpunk, a reality pilot, or are you a governor, a controller (Leary, 2005 [1994])? Do you have self-determination, or are you a cog in the machine? In terms of our class discussion, can you be who you want to be on Facebook, or are you constrained to be who you are F2F (face-to-face)? Or, in terms of recent trends, take a stand on whether online anonymity may be decreasing (Whitelaw, 2009), what might be the implications of employers searching social media sites for prospective employees (Van Grove, 2009), whether the Pentagon may be following you, and the meaning of Facebook’s privacy changes (Ostrow, 2009). Be sure to substantiate your point of view with findings.


Leary, Timothy, 2005 [1994] “The Cyberpunk: The Individual as Reality Pilot,” pp. 77-87 in Victor J. Vitanza, ed., CyberReader: Abridged Edition (New York: Longman)

Whitelaw, Kevin, “Gotcha! Why Online Anonymity May Be Fading,” September 2, 2009 <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=112450627&ft=1&f=1049> (retrieved September 17, 2009).

Van Grove, Jennifer “45% of Employers Now Screen Social Media Profiles” August 19, 2009 <http://mashable.com/2009/08/19/social-media-screening/> (retrieved September 17, 2009)

Ostrow, Adam “PRIVACY: Facebook Is One of America’s Most Trusted Companies” September 16, 2009 <http://mashable.com/2009/09/16/facebook-privacy-truste/> (retrieved September 17, 2009)