The Chrome extension "Mark Ditto Mark" is designed to turn every first name that appears in your brower to "Mark" and every last name to "Ditto". Its creators, the "media artists" A. J. Patrick Liszkiewicz and Lucas Miller, built the tool for one express reason: To create an epic, generative fictional narrative about a person named Mark Ditto:
Mark Ditto Mark is a conceptual novel generated by a browser extension. When installed and activated, the extension will alter any names of people which appear on the currently displayed Internet page: first names are changed to "Mark," and last names are changed to "Ditto." In this way, Mark Ditto Mark transforms the Internet into a gigantic, sprawling novel about someone named "Mark Ditto."
So I decided to install "Mark Ditto Mark" and see what I could find out about the novel's title character.
He's really good at sports.
And he's famous in Hollywood.
Like, really famous!
And he can really pull off a bikini.
But he's got a sensitive side. He writes for Thought Catalog.
He's also my boss at BuzzFeed.
As well as the editor of the New York Times.
Plus, he's emailing me a lot.
And trying to chat with me. (The extension seems to have a little trouble with less-common American names.)
Except for really well-known ones.
Also, it turns out I am Mark Ditto.
We are all Mark Ditto. That is the moral of "Mark Ditto Mark": The internet is a vast and terrifying narrative full of unstable identities and broken technology. May Mark Ditto save us all.
Joe Bernstein is a senior technology reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Bernstein reports on and writes about the gaming industry and web culture.
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