Personas is a part of the MIT Metropath(ologies) exhibit that scours the web for information and attempts to characterize a person based on an entered first and last name, showing visualizations of the process as it chugs along. [more inside]
Once, i had a secret
lovelife.... The urge to act out an entirely different persona is widely shared across cultures as well, social scientists say, and may be motivated by curiosity, mischief or earnest soul-searching. Certainly, it is a familiar tug in the breast of almost anyone who has stepped out of his or her daily life for a time, whether for vacation, for business or to live in another country. On secret lives, for good and bad. We're in this too: "I think what people are doing on the Internet now," she said, "has deep psychological meaning in terms of how they're using identities to express problems and potentially solve them in what is a relatively consequence-free zone."
Yet out in the world, a consequence-rich zone, studies find that most people find it mentally exhausting to hold onto inflammatory secrets - much less lives - for long. (NYT, reg.req.)