Monday, July 26, 2010

Does The Internet Never Forget?

A giant slab of self-aggrandizing pride tends to surround the Internet and those who use it.

One thing is for sure - some, like the writer of this NYTimes article, think the Internet is already an Eternal Keeper of All Things Which Will Last Forever.

Yeah, and they told me in grade school that everything I did would go on my "permanent record." Which never existed.

The NYTimes article's headline is utterly wrong: "The Web Means The End Of Forgetting".

But such an 'eternal memory' will work only if you can always access the Web, search it, find information, retrieve it and re-present it to the world. Otherwise, all that info exists in a place none can touch.

Here's the finale to the NYTimes story:

In the meantime, as all of us stumble over the challenges of living in a world without forgetting, we need to learn new forms of empathy, new ways of defining ourselves without reference to what others say about us and new ways of forgiving one another for the digital trails that will follow us forever."

I suppose not even NYTimes reporters can remember the past ....

"My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,

The lone and level sands stretch far away".

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