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robertogreco : googlechat   2

Old memories, accidentally trapped in amber by our digital devices
"Part of what humans use technology for is to better remember the past. We scroll back through photos on our phones and on Instagram & Flickr — “that was Fourth of July 5 years ago, so fun!” — and apps like Swarm, Timehop, and Facebook surface old locations, photos, and tweets for us on the regular. But sometimes, we run into the good old days in unexpected places on our digital devices.

Designer and typographer Marcin Wichary started a thread on Twitter yesterday about “UIs that accidentally amass memories” with the initial example of the “Preferred Networks” listing of all the wifi networks his computer had ever joined, “unexpected reminders of business trips, vacations, accidental detours, once frequented and now closed cafés”.

[image: screeshot of macOS wi-fi panel]

Several other people chimed in with their own examples…the Bluetooth pairings list, the Reminders app, the list of alarms, saved places in mapping apps, AIM/iChat status message log, chat apps not used for years, the Gmail drafts folder, etc.

John Bull noted that his list of former addresses on Amazon is “a massive walk down memory line of my old jobs and places of residence”. I just looked at mine and I’ve got addresses in there from almost 20 years ago.

Steven Richie suggested the Weather app on iOS:
I usually like to add the city I will be travelling to ahead of time to get a sense of what it will be like when we get there.

I do this too but am pretty good about culling my cities list. Still, there are a couple places I keep around even though I haven’t been to them in awhile…a self-nudge for future travel desires perhaps.

Kotori switched back to an old OS via a years-old backup and found “a post-breakup message that came on the day i switched phones”:
thought i moved on but so many whatifs flashed in my head when i read it. what if i never got a new phone. what if they messaged me a few minutes earlier. what if we used a chat that did backups differently

Similarly, Richard fired up Google Maps on an old phone and was briefly transported through time and space:
On a similar note to both of these, a while ago I switched back to my old Nokia N95 after my iPhone died. Fired up Google Maps, and for a brief moment, it marked my location as at a remote crossroads in NZ where I’d last had it open, lost on a road trip at least a decade before.

Matt Sephton runs into old friends when he plays Nintendo:
Every time my friends and I play Nintendo WiiU/Wii/3DS games we see a lot of our old Mii avatars. Some are 10 years old and of a time. Amongst them is a friend who passed away a few years back. It’s always so good to see him. It’s as if he’s still playing the games with us.

For better or worse, machines never forget those who aren’t with us anymore. Dan Noyes’ Gmail holds a reminder of his late wife:
Whenever I open Gmail I see the last message that my late wife sent me via Google chat in 2014. It’s her standard “pssst” greeting for me: “aye aye”. I leave it unread lest it disappears.

It’s a wonderful thread…read the whole thing. [https://twitter.com/mwichary/status/996056615928266752 ]

I encounter these nostalgia bombs every once in awhile too. I closed dozens of tabs the other day on Chrome for iOS; I don’t use it very often, so some of them dated back to more than a year ago. I have bookmarks on browsers I no longer use on my iMac that are more than 10 years old. A MacOS folder I dump temporary images & files into has stuff going back years. Everyone I know stopped using apps like Path and Peach, so when I open them, I see messages from years ago right at the top like they were just posted, trapped in amber.

My personal go-to cache of unexpected memories is Messages on iOS. Scrolling all the way down to the bottom of the list, I can find messages from numbers I haven’t communicated with since a month or two after I got my first iPhone in 2007.

[image: screenshot of Messages in iOS]

There and elsewhere in the listing are friends I’m no longer in touch with, business lunches that went nowhere, old flames, messages from people I don’t even remember, arriving Lyfts in unknown cities, old landlords, completely contextless messages from old numbers (“I am so drunk!!!!” from a friend’s wife I didn’t know that well?!), old babysitters, a bunch of messages from friends texting to be let into our building for a holiday party, playdate arrangements w/ the parents of my kids’ long-forgotten friends (which Ella was that?!), and old group texts with current friends left to languish for years. From one of these group texts, I was just reminded that my 3-year-old daughter liked to make cocktails:

[screenshot]

Just like Sally Draper! Speaking of Mad Men, Don’s correct: nostalgia is a potent thing, so I’ve got to stop poking around my phone and get back to work.

Update: I had forgotten this great example about a ghost driver in an old Xbox racing game.
Well, when i was 4, my dad bought a trusty XBox. you know, the first, ruggedy, blocky one from 2001. we had tons and tons and tons of fun playing all kinds of games together — until he died, when i was just 6.

i couldnt touch that console for 10 years.

but once i did, i noticed something.

we used to play a racing game, Rally Sports Challenge. actually pretty awesome for the time it came.

and once i started meddling around… i found a GHOST.

See also this story about Animal Crossing. (via @ironicsans/status/996445080943808512)"
digital  memory  memories  2018  jasonkottke  kottke  traces  animalcrossing  videogames  games  gaming  flickr  wifi  marcinwichary  death  relationships  obsolescence  gmail  googlhangouts  googlechat  iphone  ios  nostalgia  xbox  nintendo  messages  communication  googlemaps  place  time  chrome  mac  osx 
may 2018 by robertogreco
Paris Review – Gchatting with George Saunders, Katherine Bernard
"George: When I was starting out I had some basic tightassedness re literary diction - thought that “real” literature had to occur in a space slightly higher than you could actually enact in real-time. This had its origins in the fact that I didn’t know any writers etc etc. So it was a breakthrough (hardwon, late in coming) when I realized that there is really no difference between high and low speech - they both “indicate,” they both scan, they both give off energy when read. So that was a great thing, to suddenly be able to consider ALL language as possible candidates for what we might call “poetic elevation” - that process of compression/exclusion that takes a diction and kicks it up into (hopefully) a kind of super-expressive purity...."



"me: Speaking of distortions, Nicki is a judge on American Idol at the moment
and she frequently takes on this british accent and becomes a different character - I think psychologically to make crushing people’s dreams easier on her psyche.
She’ll be like: “I’m so sorry dahling but we just cahn’t do it today”

George: I do that myself, all the time. Like at the grocery store: “Dear lad, this pepperoni rather bloody appears to be past its expiration date. And that lady appears to be going into labour.”

me: “Sir, if you could just not put the blasted eggs at the bottoum of the bag...”

George: I find it exciting to think that whatever language the culture produces can be grist for the literary mill - well, and that it would HAVE to be, you know? And that goes for extra-linguistic things too - whatever thought patterns are manifesting out there, have to be interesting to us as writers. Part of “growing” ourselves as writers (there...there’s a mod usage there) is to keep expanding our vision of “what is art” outward to accommodate whatever is...out there, in reality.

me: Do you have a phrase you really like in this moment?
Something you heard recently and felt YES?

George: Nothing’s coming to mind. I’m still feeling the pain of “cocksuckworthian.”
Funny thing - I think g-chat is a little...Catholic. It always says “katherinebernard is busy. You may be interrupting.” It’s like it has an auto-nun feature.

me: I’m soooo busyyyyyy

get in linnnne George!
Since it’s Valentine’s day may I tell you a love-and-Saunders story?
are you ok on time?

George: Sure - and it’s ok with me if we go a bit past the time allotted, btw."



"George: I mean -
I mean - you
You’d hate to exclude a Worthy Suitor.
Nice typing there. That’s what I get for trying to g-chat while making an omelet and changing my piston rings and writing a short memoir.

me: Turns out in the end he was Unworthy in Every Way

George: So many are. These dudes today. And always.
Such as me, circa 1986.

me: What about circa 2013?

George: My wife and I have been married 25 years so we are just going out to lunch, very happily - I’ve been out of town for awhile and it’s just nice being together.

George: One of the great under-narrrated pleasures of living: long-term fidelity & love.

me: That’s so lovely!
Happy valentines day to her!

George: And happy valentie
Happy valentine’s to you too.
Someone rigged this computer up with a secret “send-before-done” button."
2013  georgesaunders  gchat  googlechat  katherinebernard  humor  writing  highbrow  lowbrow  highspeech  lowspeech  via:ablerism 
april 2014 by robertogreco

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