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robertogreco : outboardmemory   3

Instagramming Dinosaurs: Clive Thompson on Digital Memory (1 of 4) | Moosha Moosha Mooshme
"I wouldn’t necessarily say they’re actually expanding their memory, because it’s not clear when you record things that it necessarily cements it in our heads any better. They’re expanding their abilities to reflect on the past. When we decide that we want to go back and look at something, we now have the ability to go back and look at it in a much more granular detail, in much more richer emotional and semantic detail-"



"That’s one of the great fears people have, that we’re not going to look at the world around us while we are holding our phones up. The truth is, I think that’s kind of an overblown sentiment. Even if you look around us here, even the kids that have phones, they pull them out, they look at something and then they put them down. And they’re still using their eyes 99% of the time. We see someone holding up a phone at a concert and we are like, “Oh my God! They are not looking at the concert.” But they don’t spend two hours with the phone in front of them. I think we have a healthy fear of life becoming over-mediated, but if you look at it more like a scientist and study what’s going on you will still see a lot of people looking at things.

I think, actually, the bigger danger, in a weird way, is what happens when we almost store too much. Everyone who you know, who comes to the museum here, might take 40 or 50 photos in one day, maybe more. I’ve got friends that tell me when they go on vacation they walk away with 800 photos. There is no way you are going to look at those pictures. So really the problem becomes that you can sort of build up this corpus of information that is functionally sort of useless, because you are really never going to look at that stuff. And one of the great challenges to me that’s really interesting is how do we make productive use of this enormous explosion of digital memory, right? And it turns out that some of the really interesting solutions are very simple little techniques for algorithmically finding interesting patterns in this stuff, patterns that we are never going to bother to find ourselves.

Here is a really simple example: there is this app that is becoming enormously popular called Time Hop. Every day, it goes in to your archives of stuff that you recorded a year ago. It could be a photo you took. It could be a text message you shared. It could be like a posting on Facebook. And it gives you a little daily gazette, saying, Here is what you did a year ago. Here is photo. Here is your text message. People regularly tell me how delightful it is to wake up to this momentary reflection of what they were doing a year ago. They say it’s a sort of philosophically-enlarging experience because they think about the shape of their life. It retriggers things they wouldn’t have thought about it, provoking new, interesting thoughts. And so if you came in here with Time Hop, and you took all these pictures, a year later you will be getting ready to go to the dentist or something, and you look at your phone and you go. Oh, you know here is a pictures of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and your children and something that you posted about it, on Facebook. And suddenly this day will come swimming back in to your memory.

So little clever simple techniques like this, where you use what computers are really good at doing, which is following routines, and you use what humans are really good at doing, which is making meaning out of these traces and records, is really the future of how we are going to pull enormous emotional and intellectual and spiritual values out of these digital memories."

[The full set: http://www.mooshme.org/?s=clive+thompson ]
clivethompson  2014  memory  socialmedia  photography  mobile  phones  instagram  museums  barryjoseph  amnh  timehop  facebook  digital  recording  reflection  review  outboardmemory  attention  noticing  media  history 
january 2015 by robertogreco
The Online Memory | MORNING, COMPUTER
"According to WordPress trackbacks, I have quite rightly been pulled up by a few people for not making it clear in this post that, aside from Flurb, I was talking about print sf magazines. There were a few other infelicities in that post due to, ha ha, writing them first thing in the morning, which is what happens here. It’s called Morning Computer for a reason. I went back and added a couple of words to clear up some of my drool.

The thing about writing online is that, unless you have the time and inclination to go back and find and link all the posts you’ve made on a subject in the past, the reader’s assumption is often that you’re coming to it for the first time. So all the times I posted on warrenellis.com about the likes of online sf magazines such as Clarkesworld or Apex, for instance, don’t actually “count,” as it were. Which is fair enough, because we don’t expect readers to be aware of every single thing we’ve said on every topic in the past, too. It does, however, give interested parties a rhetorical club to work you over with. But you can’t blame anyone for that.

This fracturing of context is, I suspect, peculiar to these early decades of online writing. It’s possible that, in the future, webmentions and the like may heal that up to some extent. But everything from the 90s to today is going to remain mostly broken in that respect. Most of what we said and did had ephemerality long before apps started selling us ephemeral nature as a positive advertising point. Possibly no other generation threw so many words at such velocity into a deep dark well of ghosts.

To tie this back, I’m reminded of a quote Michael Moorcock once cited, from an author whose name ironically escapes me: that the majority of writers should be issued fountain pens with condoms slipped over their nibs, so that they can scribble away to their heart’s content without bothering anybody."
2014  warrenellis  memory  outboardmemory  digital  online  internet  web  writing  search  ephemerality  ephemeral 
november 2014 by robertogreco
This is the next positive step in human evolution: We become “persistent paleontologists of our external memories” | Pew Internet & American Life Project
"Amber Case, cyberanthropologist and CEO of Geoloqi, agreed: “The human brain is wired to adapt to what the environment around it requires for survival. Today and in the future it will not be as important to internalize information but to elastically be able to take multiple sources of information in, synthesize them, and make rapid decisions.”

She added, “Memories are becoming hyperlinks to information triggered by keywords and URLs. We are becoming ‘persistent paleontologists’ of our own external memories, as our brains are storing the keywords to get back to those memories and not the full memories themselves.”"
technology  externalmemory  2012  persistentpaleontologists  search  keywords  information  geoloqi  ambercase  outboardmemory  memoryretrieval  memory  memories  urls  cv 
april 2012 by robertogreco

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