How much does the metadata gathered in your inbox reveal about you? Quite a lot, judging by what researchers at the MIT Media Lab have managed to accomplish with Immersion. They’ve built a web app that — once you grant it permission to do so — digs through your email history to piece together a “people-centric view of your email life.” What does Immersion look at, exactly? Only the senders, recipients (including those CC’d), and timestamps within your email archives. It steers clear of subject lines and the actual bodies of your messages.
Phi Beta Iota: The silver lining in all this is that it illuminates what a World Brain will look like when every “thing” has its own URL and carries its true cost as well as its usage history with it. Anything with a toxin in its history will glow red and buycotts will become as easy as pointing your phone at something and respecting the red dot that flashes at whatever level you have chosen.