Every time there's a resurgence in general-audience (non-techie) interest in Google, as after Newsweek's recent Google fawning, the issue of privacy in a presence of a pervasive and permanent record rears its ugly head. People who aren't technologically savvy don't realize that statements don't fade away or remain in confidence on the web; The things we say only get louder and more widely known, unless they're completely trivial.
We're all celebrities now, in a sense. Everything that we say or do is on the record. And everything that's on the record is recorded for posterity, and indexed far better than any file photo or PR bio ever was. It used to be that only those who chose career paths that resulted in notoriety or celebrity would face having to censor themselves or be forced to consciously control the image that they project. But this faded as celebrity culture grew and as individuals are increasingly marketed as brands, even products.
I own my name. I am the first, and definitive, source of information on me.
One of the biggest benefits of that reality is that I now have control. The information I choose to reveal on my site sets the biggest boundaries for my privacy on the web. Granted, I'll never have total control. But look at most people, especially novice Internet users, who are concerned with privacy. They're fighting a losing battle, trying to prevent their personal information from being available on the web at all. If you recognize that it's going to happen, your best bet is to choose how, when, and where it shows up.
And I'm glad to say I've done that, more or less since high school. Any searches for ibneko or my real name, "Benjamin Juang" in google will link first to my livejournal here, and then to some other places (hehe, PuzzleCrack 2006!)
I still need to get my site at Nearlyfreespeech.net up and running. And I should probably pick up a domain name, although I don't know what to get. I suppose I could go for benjuang.com or something silly and ordinary like that, but.. eh. I dunno. Not really in favor of spending ~$10-15 per year (yes, yes, a dollar per month, I know) on a virtual object.
But regardless, what you read online, here, and anywhere else, should never be presumed to be entire truth. While this journal is a reflection of my personal thoughts, moods, and the events that I experience, it does not, in any way, define my entire personality and definitely does not detail who I am away from the computer.
For a slightly longer coverage of the above, along with guidelines regarding the use of information you see on this livejournal, read the README: A Blogger's Disclaimer @ http://www.namaii.com/readme/
Certain things don't apply to friends I already know in real life / people I have been 'friends' with for over a year on livejournal. Like the not-discussion-online-things while in reality part. That's silly. If you know me, and we're talking in real life, feel free to bring up stuff I post about if you want. It'll probably make for a better conversation, seeing how I suck at pulling random insightful things from the brain thing in my head.