Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Defend Blog Castle!

I had a dream this morning that my blog was a castle and it was under siege. Soldiers with carbines and shoulder-rockets came in waves, putting my defenders to the test. We withstood the assault, but barely.

When I complained to a friend about it, he gave this memorable advice: "Fortify your keep. Just add an XML moat and some hypertext ramparts."

The dream struck me as having a videogame reality about it -that is to say, something abstract was under attack by artificial intelligence. My blog was represented as a castle, and the waves of combatants were steered by a single source, malicious software that invested the AI with a single purpose: demolish the target!

To my mind, it isn't a stretch to envision something like this being possible. Take Second Life forward a couple generations and rather than stores and clubs, the structures could be personal milieus, caches of data belonging to one person including email accounts, banking and credit card information, as well as social network passwords and codes for your blog: in a few years (if not sooner) I could see my dream actualized into Blog Castle.

The metaphor is apt. Security concerns are rampant. Only last week the alarm was raised when hackers infiltrated thousands of passwords at popular email providers. Who wouldn't want something like a castle bristling with defenders to protect their online data?

What I find curious is that in the dream it was specifically Blog Castle under assault. Anything else contained therein was only implied. Do I have an unconscious notion of my blog as being a precious commodity? Only my therapist can say for sure, and as soon as I find one, I'll let you know what they say. It does invite speculation, though. What other type of metaphor might apply?

Blog as sinking ship leaps to mind. Posts keep it afloat and if neglected the ship starts a slow descent to the depths (as represented here by one of the more memorable images from a real videogame, Painkiller). One day you might log on only to find that your blog has vanished into the notorious fathom packets, where all obsolete data is translated to permanent cold storage. Might add a sense of urgency, wouldn't you say?

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