Your ideal self

A decade or so ago, Second Life was all the rage, and having an embodied on-line persona was new. Back then there was a lot of buzz around the crazy choices made by participants as to the visual appearance of their avatar.

Some people chose to be purple tentacled aliens, others eight foot tall felines in dominatrix suits. Pretty wild choices were made. None of it really mattered all that much, because it was understood that these were fictional representations.

But sometime in the next decade we may encounter something new. If you start wearing those Future Reality glasses in your everyday life, the stakes could be higher.

That eight foot tall cat dominatrix may become not just something funny and ironically rebellious, but a potential measure of how you might be judged in real life. It could effect the outcome of interviewing for a job, applying for a loan, even trying to get seated at a restaurant.

This happens now, of course. If you show up for that high powered corporate executive job wearing your Halloween hooker outfit, you might not get called back for a second interview.

But if your very appearance, as perceived by others, is largely created in software, that is arguably a bit more fundamental. Will people go for the outrageous?

Or will they systematically skew their appearance toward some safely “ideal” age or set of facial and body features? In a world where we will be able to choose any outward appearance, what will we see when we look at each other?

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