Lazy Luddite Log


Memory Insurance

It is three years since I started blogging (with this blog) and with that in mind I am writing on the topic of memory. The late and wonderful Carl Sagan in his documentary Cosmos made reference to how humans can draw on three kinds of memory. To start with there is the memory of genes which all living things have. Then there is the memory of brains that animals possess. Finally there is that which is unique to humans - Sagan described this final form of memory storage as books and then went onto extol the virtues of his local library. I think we can recognise however that books or 'texts' (which has become a very loosely defined term at the hand of wanky academics) can include all forms of information storage devised by humanity and can include the written word (stored in whatever medium) as well as recorded images and sounds.

In a recent conversation I referred to how a sufficiently complex set of interlinked web pages could simulate a conversation with me. I was facetious. But over time the longer ones blog gets the more memory one deposits into the Internet of what one is like - how one thinks and feels... what interests one has... who one interacts with...

So here there is an expanding reflection of me. It is a very much selective reflection but still it provides a memory of me. It is one that I more than anyone can draw on. And just as a song or a photo can remind one of much more than just that short snatch of time, so too a blog entry can evoke recollections of other things related to it in time or subject matter.

To finish off - here is text from my original weblog entry. It and many others can be looked at using the Archives on the sidebar.

I have been using the word 'luddite' in relation to my internet use ever since I got an email account at Monash University back in 1991. These days 'luddite' refers to someone who resists or resents new technology. For more info on the history of the term go to the 'Trivia' link on my sidebar. I am slow to make use of new technology and get frustrated if ever I lack a working understanding of something.

And I never get into technology just for its own sake. It has to somehow facilitate my involvement in something that interests me specifically. So I have never had a mobile phone because having contact with everybody all day long is something that has never attracted me. On the other hand I do have an iPod because listening to music while in transit is lots of fun. Using iTunes to put together ones own lists of tracks is fantastic because the different combinations and sequences of songs help one to explore the relationships that exist between and within a variety of musical genres. But that is another topic...

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