On Authenticity

“Calling something ‘authentic’ may connote original, traditional, indigenous, old, rare, the real thing, or in some crucial way a better example of its category. We use the term today as a messy amalgam of its twin roots: the art historian’s validation of an object and the philosopher’s valuing of the true self. While the concept of authenticity is employed in vague and subjective ways, we want to believe that an item’s authenticity is an absolutely determinable quality, an expectation that (as you’ll see) is not wholly realistic.” (Steve Portigal – ACM SIGCHI Interactions Magazine XVI.6)

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