Nothing is really "real" on the internet. It's all pixels, it's all fake (fake in the traditional human sense). Electronic mail doesn't really constitute real mail; emails are fake letters. A shop such as Amazon.com is not really a shop, it is a fake digital representation of a shop, it's a virtual shop. It's all cyberspace. In real life "real people from the internet" are not really "2D images made from pixels". Nobody is real on the internet. My point is that all people in cyberspace are not really people, they are representations of people. It is all an illusion. In the human sense everyone on the internet is fake (unauthentic), but in the Transhuman sense everyone and everything on the internet is real. The internet is art, it isn't real life.
For people unfamiliar with the art of illusion it is worthwhile to note the seminal book Art and Illusion by Sir Ernst Gombrich. The obituary for Sir Ernst Gombrich in The Guardian concisely describes the purpose of Art and Illusion: “It presented an account of the psychological factors which made it possible for us to see a three-dimensional moving subject - such as people in action - on a flat, still surface.”
Gomnbrich's ideas are very relevant to the internet today, because when we look at the flat surfaces of our screens an artistic illusion happens. When we look at our 2D screens we create a fake world of immense depth, we create cyberspace, but the cyber-world behind the screen doesn't exist in reality, it is illusionary, it is fake, but it's only fake in the traditional human sense.
All faces on the internet are unreal digital representations. A digital photograph of a person is an illusion of a real person. Representations of "digital human faces" are NOT more real than digital representations of our minds. Here's a real portrait regarding an aspect of my mind. This is one of my faces:
Virtual Reality Isn't Real Reality.
Digital flesh is not actually flesh. Instead of the illusionary representation of my fleshy human face, it is more real for me to have a profile representing the most important part of my mind. Fleshy human faces on the internet are not really fleshy, the faces are digital illusions of flesh. All facial pictures of human flesh on the internet aren't authentic flesh, they are pixels, fake (unauthentic), thus not really real. If people truly seek human authenticity then they shouldn't go on the internet. My cyberspace persona is very honest due to the absence of fake virtual flesh.
Nobody is technically real online, all people are 2D cyber-representations, they are illusions. I am simply more honest about my cyber-reality. I am honest about my digital reality thus I am more real than people who pretend their digital identities are real human identities. I embrace the true reality of illusionary cyberspace. I am truly real on the internet. Real humans are not digital, but cyberspace is real. We are dealing with a different reality. Cyberspace is a representation of humanness but cyberspace is something different from traditional humanness, thus the term Transhuman can be applied.
The “internet reality” is not necessarily unreal, it is simply a different reality, it is a Transhuman reality where nobody is real ("real" in the traditional human sense of realness), but we are all equally real in the Transhuman sense. Sadly there is currently a mood of xenophobia regarding the reality of cyberspace personalities. Some people think the Transhuman reality of cyberspace is distrustful. Inhuman corporations such as Facebook and Google therefore foolishly try to enforce the illusion of humanness onto the Transhuman reality of the internet.
Some humans want to purge Transhumans. Facebook has recently purged people who don't have real names. Most famously Michael-Anti was purged from Facebook. Google+ is now copying Facebook's cull of so-called "fake names". Google is failing miserably to comprehend how they are censoring free-speech. Google is censoring free-expression. The way we define our identities when communicating socially is a crucial aspect of self-expression. Idiosyncratic social names are a vital aspect of how we express ourselves. Google and Facebook are trying to force identities onto us which we don't want. Our freedom of expression is being restricted. We are being limited via policies of user-name-fascism. The rules regarding user-names on Google and Facebook are anti-freedom. People should have freedom to define their own names when they communicate socially. We should be allowed to express ourselves. We shouldn't be told what name we must use.
Thankfully no obvious physical harm is done to Transhumans during this purge, but the purge is nevertheless a pogrom; it's digital genocide. It's also very physically stressful to experience your online identity being killed, which I can confirm because recently I was a recent victim of the Facebook purge. If we truly want to be real then let's be clear about reality; Facebook and Google are primarily interested in profits. If humanity is an interest for Google and Facebook then humanity is not their primary concern. They are predominantly inhuman organizations. A bureaucratic capitalist organization is not a real human therefore it is ironic for Google and Facebook to insist cyberspace personalities must conform to an unachievable human reality. Google and Facebook are living a lie, they are dishonest. Transhumanism is here. Our Transhuman reality should not be oppressed. The new race of Transhuman beings should be nurtured. Cyberspace is the new reality, but it isn't real in the human sense, it is only real in the Transhuman sense.
It's Social Networking Not Passport Control.
Frances Haugen, a Google+ employee, wrote regarding helping people feel safe and to connect with people they know: "We believe using real names and real profile pictures is the best way to create that kind of environment."
Google has obviously lost touch with reality because in real life people can use any name they desire in social situations. G+ needs to wake up to reality, they need to get real. Google is not passport control. Google+ is a social network therefore we shouldn't have less freedom online than we have in real life social situations. What is a "real" profile picture? Is 2D digital flesh real? Democratic freedoms are more real than Google's policy of user-profile-fascism. Google has sadly lost touch with reality therefore they trample over democratic freedoms. Being real means having the freedom to express yourself. Self-expression means having the freedom call yourself any name you desire in social situations. It is fascism to force subjective notions of reality onto others at the cost of our freedom of expression. Frances Haugen needs to get real regarding social democratic values.
We need to consider what social networking is. When we communicate with someone in real-life social scenarios we aren't obliged to prove our identities. People in a democracy can freely chat to strangers in the street, at public meetings, at cinemas, restaurants, in nightclubs, or via any other informal social forum without needing to produce identity papers. Free speech shouldn't require people to prove their identities. If we open a bank account, enroll at college or university, apply for a job, or enter passport control, we are must prove our identities in those formal circumstances. Democratic social-communication is informal therefore we are not obliged to produce identity papers merely to converse freely with friends or strangers. We must protest strongly against attempts by Google and Facebook to force authoritarian restrictions on free speech. Google and Facebook are attempting to formalize the informality of communication; they want to transform casual communication into something highly regimented, very official, with strict control over our identities. Google and Facebook appear to be modeling their identity policies on those of the China or North Korea. We must refuse to produce identity papers when we network socially.
The capitalist era is gradually ending, Post-Scarcity is coming but in the meantime Transhumans don't mesh correctly with archaic models of existence. We are not suckers for data-mining. We want to be free. We believe in open source. We use ad-blocking software. Our faces are incompatible with facial recognition programs, thus dinosaurs such as Google and Facebook want to kill our presence. This oppression is sadly a common human trait. The oppression of Transhuman identities is reminiscent of Black-segregation, homophobia, or the oppression of women. We desperately need an intelligence explosion. Humans seem predominantly incapable of learning. We need Transhumans to arise if we are to become wise.
If you want to discuss these issues on Google+ then this link is perhaps a good starting point but I won't be joining you because I'm currently suspended. I haven't been suspended from G+ due to my profile name or image, I've been suspended due to my free speech but that's a topic for another article.
Update. After being suspended I subsequently created an alternate (version 2) G+ profile but that account was also suspended. The second suspension was clearly due to my user name so perhaps "name issues" was also the reason for my initial suspension. The fight for utopia continues, but I think I may cease social networking because the likelihood of censorship is too high thus it is a waste time expressing opinions if those opinions will probably be deleted. I am surprised Google has not deleted this blog.