For centuries we have relied on books and other external memories, but the Internet, through the ease of searching, has invaded our actual thought processes. There are things I think I know, but I don't. What I know is how to instantly retrieve them when my global external memory is attached. As I become reliant on this kind of extended identity, losing my Internet connection is like a lobotomy�I feel an almost physical sense of loss as a portion of my intelligence is removed. I've become dependent on a new brain center that isn't located inside of my body."
I'll admit I was just surfing around looking for something to blog when I came along this. It really struck a chord with me. I'm an internet-addicted cyberpunk. And I'm a huge fan of Ghost in the Shell, and I recently read Synthetic Worlds by Edward Castranova.
I think it's obvious that our online identities are inextricably linked with our physical identities. But not just because our physical selves use physical interfaces to act as our virtual counterpart. Like Terry points out, when we use an interface so much, the boundaries between self, interface, and "avatar" start to blur. Sometimes even so much so that the online avatar feels more real than we ourselves feel at times.
In any case, this was also a test of a nifty firefox extension I came across for blogging. I'll be testing a couple of these soon so there might be a few more random posts in the future.