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Francis Levy Headshot

Linked Out

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LinkedIn notices are like vermin. Is there an exterminator who can be called it to get rid of them? What if you don't want to be LinkedIn? What if you want to opt out? "Turn on, tune in and drop out" was a famous 60's mantra coined by Timothy Leary. All of this linking in is faintly suspicious. Granted the whole can be greater than the sum of its parts, but are we being sold a bill of goods? Are we one big technological family, trading information for the sake of progress or as Ronald Reagan used to say when he was advertising for GE, "progress is our most important product." Actually it wasn't progress, but profit that was GE's most important product, as it necessarily is and was for any major company. Advocates of LinkedIn are constantly pointing out its usefulness which comes down to calculating degrees of separation. Say you are applying for a job at Washington, Madison and Franklin investments and you look up one of the partners, James, and find out that his wife Dolly makes a brand of ice cream that you eat. Not only this, but Dolly is linked in to a good friend of yours Zbigniew Czieslowmarskoricz and his wife Ann Smith. Your chances of getting a job at Washington, Madison and Franklin have now doubled since you're LinkedIn. But let's say it's the wrong Zbigniew Czieslowmarskoricz. Czieslowmarskoricz is like Smith in Poland and the Warsaw phone book is full of them. Then you are back to step one and it just points out how unLinkedIn you are. Let's say you regard yourself as a great artist or writer, a Thomas Mann type who lives on a hilltop aerie and writes books with names like The Magic Mountain. What if you don't want people trying to link you to a vodka swilling playboy like Zbigniew Czieslowmarkoricz just because you once drunkenly gave Czieslowmarkoricz your e-mail at a publication party for Zbigniew Herbert in Krakow?

Photo of Jerry Rubin from l970

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy's blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}