|[a] Etiquette RF|
|[b] Unlocked RF|
Welcome back to Displays of Authenticity. So far, we have looked at Dairy Queen Blizzards and tip jars, but it has been a while since we have considered these little bits of social life in which people are attempting to show the authenticity (and sometimes sincerity) of their actions. If you have not done so already, by all means read the introduction to this series.
Now let's get back to passwords. You know that you look away when someone is typing or punching in a password or security code. All too often, we take the narrow, practical, and individualistic interpretive route and are content to think that we look away for practical or ethical reasons. Yes, of course. It isn't as though those things don't apply. I get it.
I just think that there is more going on here. At least a little more. For one, there is a complete difference between typing in a password at home at 9:36 p.m. in front of your computer screen, with no one but the cat to notice your actions, and typing the same password in the midst of what I shall call a social setting. If you are inclined to think of a "social setting" as one in which you have a drink in one hand and a cheese puff in another, I urge you to stretch your definition a little. If you are sitting in an office and working with someone who is about to type in a password, you are in a social setting. Among people, interacting—simple.
|[a] Social RF|
There are many, many such matters "out there," and we hardly think about them at all—except on Round and Square. To conclude for today, let's take a brief look (in the spirit of this series) at the way one thinker addresses the question of individuality. Let me remind you that the readings that follow Round and Square meanderings are meant to juxtapose ideas, not merely echo what was said above. Here you will find a nice "mesh," though. George Herbert Mead was not thinking about passwords, to be sure, but he surely was interested in the relationship between, well, mind, self, and society.
Mind, Self, & Society
What I want particularly to emphasize is the temporal and logical pre-existence of the social process to the self-conscious individual that arises in it. The conversation of gestures is a part of the social process which is going on. It is not something that the individual alone makes possible. What the development of language, especially the significant symbol, has rendered possible is just the taking over of this external social situation into the conduct of the individual himself. There follows from this the enormous development which belongs to human society, the possibility of the prevision of what is going to take place in the response of other individuals, and a preliminary adjustment to this by the individual. These, in turn, produce a different social situation which is again reflected in what I have termed the "me," so that the individual himself takes a different attitude...
|[d] Expiry RF|
 George Herbert Mead, Mind, Self, and Society (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934), 187-188.
Mead, George Herbert. Mind, Self, and Society. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1934.