Tuesday, July 17, 2007

At the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, older equals wiser

Don'tcha hate answering overly intrusive personal questions? I do, especially when I'm ignorant or uncomfortable about how my answers will be used.

Providing a middle name, date and place of birth, mother's maiden name, and certain other vital statistics makes me fear an impending deluge of unwanted phone calls, faxes, and junk mail - virtual and real. Identity theft is an even greater concern.

In contrast, registering at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council site was mostly painless, even fun. I trusted the statement: "LMCC does not, and will not sell your information." And LMCC staff seems security-consciousness, what with operating in the shadow of the World Trade Center and all.

I'm less trusting about some other enterprises. Moreover, in this age of hackers, trojans and worms (oh, my)! the very act of sharing personal information online or by phone can be risky if the donor AND recipient's systems are insecure.

Although I wasn't thrilled to provide LMCC with my age (for reasons of vanity as well as privacy), I knew that datum, when aggregated with others', would help the organization understand and serve its stakeholders. Moreover, I couldn't help chuckling at LMCC's age categories: "below 18, 19-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, wiser."

I have a ways to go before getting wiser. When I do, I won't mind admitting it to the LMCC.

The Amazon.com ad above accesses a book about LMCC artist's residencies. Those below access books about identity theft, computer and network security; and UnBox Video Downloads about the World Trade Center.