Friday, July 10, 2009

Quaint Oddities

This entry is about one of the quaint oddities of modern life. Passwords.

It's probably safe to say that, prior to the advent of the personal computer, unless you were a spy, were trying to get into a speakeasy or other underground club, or were a contestant on a particular '70s game show, you didn't deal much with passwords. Not anymore. Everything, it seems, is password protected. And while that's a good thing, it necessitates a certain mental wrangling around the creation of tracking of said words. You shouldn't use the same password everywhere, and most people know that. To get around having to remember 20 different letter / number combinations people often create one master password and then many permutations based off that original word.

The point of this whole article is that you can end up with some very unique, odd combinations of letters and numbers that are intimately tied to the life experiences of the person who gestated them. Most passwords, considered outside of the heads of their owners, make little sense. I have one that would seem like random, goofy gibberish if I were type it out for you here...which of course I can't. But it isn't gibberish. It's a combination of letters that means something to me. Only to me and no one else.

That's what's cool about passwords. They're tiny communications to ourselves, short inside jokes that we carry with us everywhere. Brief little secrets of hidden meaning that would be an interesting way to understand the inner workings of someone's mind, if only they could reveal them to you.

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