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Will Our Memories Disappear When Technology Changes? The Virtues of Pen and Paper

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posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 01:55 PM
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When you are older, what will you have to remember your youth, when the text messages and emails have been deleted and your photo CDs can no longer be opened?



These days, it seems that everyone knows everything about us. Through Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, your friends and co-workers can learn about all the details of your life -- your emotions, your day-to-day experiences, and your thoughts and opinions. But what will your grandchildren know about your life? What will you have to pass on to them, to give them insight into your family, your experiences, and your life journey? When you are older, what will you have to remind yourself of your youth -- when the text messages and emails have long been deleted and your photo CDs can no longer be opened?

Because we are sharing so much of out lives digitally all of the time, we may not realize that we really aren’t “capturing” any of it for the future. We have all of our photos on our computers and share our thoughts on our blogs and Facebook, but unless you are one of the few people who actually print these out, they will all disappear when the technology changes. And it will. Maybe not in the next few years, but 50 years from now the technology will all be completely different. Even in the years since I’ve graduated from college, I can’t access any of my college papers that I kept on floppy disks. Technology changes, and along with it go all of your memories. This is why it is important to record your memories the old-fashioned way -- with pen on paper.


Continued at link.

Personally I've always wondered about this. As everything is converted over digitally what will be at higher risk as compared to physical records and history?

Most people that are technology savvy these days keep their journals online, have blogs and record their work digitally. Imagine the possibility of the internet being shut down and the only available information being on personal or corporate servers...

Not a very happy thought when seriously recognized and questioned is it? I personally keep my work on paper and print it out every so often just in case. God knows I've lost data to crap CD's and viruses. I'm pretty good and one of the best I would dare say at keeping my digital data safe but even then, it is digital, not physical. Is it all for convenience these days?




posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:14 PM
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reply to post by Crossfate
 
I haven't thought about it before your post and a startling idea appeared immediately...

If the record of our memories continues to be based on 'electro-data,' our memories can be altered! Images can be photoshopped and electronic document formats can be edited and changed.

Imagine having a drunken nostalgia moment and clicking through our image archives? Picture skipping through the 2008 folder, for example. Now imagine a series of images of you partying at a festival you don't remember going to. Maybe some personal photos of that day at the beach with a girl you've never met? Family shots with a sister you don't recognise? lol



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


WOW...


That's a point I was happier not considering.... lol

Sounds scarily Orwellian and in essence, scarily possible given time and control, which we know is occurring daily.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:19 PM
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reply to post by Crossfate
 


I've wondered along these lines myself. I think many DVDs and some CDs have a limited lifespan and won't even last a lifetime, they may stop working after a few decades or even a few years for low quality media.

But I've thought even further into the future. What will future historians find when they do archeological excavations of our civilization?

The Egyptians did a lot in stone which makes it last a long time. The Dead sea scrolls are an absolute mess but parts of them were legible after a few thousand years. A landfill was dug up and some of the newspapers buried there had hardly degraded at all, they were still quite legible. So stones last the longest, paper lasts a respectable amount of time, but DVDs, especially writable DVDs don't last that long at all. Factory made DVDs may last longer but writable DVDs will probably be useless to future archaeologists and historians. I fear that some of our history will fade away as a culture as newspapers die and everything becomes electronic. It's a very impermanent storage media.

Even if you print stuff out, you'll find that some of the cheaper inks for printers tend to fade over time a lot more quickly than, say, old photos.

It's something to think about.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by Kandinsky
If the record of our memories continues to be based on 'electro-data,' our memories can be altered!


That's the plot for an episode of Stargate SG-1. Very creative thinkers, those SG-1 writers. One guy's wife was erased and they couldn't even convince him he had been married.

Let's hope we don't let it get that far.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:30 PM
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reply to post by Arbitrageur
 
Hopefully our current media will be as accessible as those bigass 8track cassettes from the 60s or 70s.

In July, I'm planning to organise a 'time capsule' at work. So far, a 3litre flask will be the storage vessel. I'm asking for hard copy photos and letters. At the same time, I intend to store a DVD, CD and flashdrive.

The flask will be confined in a block of cement a couple of feet below ground level. Should be fun.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by Kandinsky
 


Not a bad idea, but this is also assuming civilization doesn't somehow end up in a dark ages type of technology due to war. That's kind of scary also. If we had some kind of apocalyptic event or a pole shift that killed billions, our supply of technology and those able to access data from current tech would be limited if not rendered null.

I can only imagine us moving back into the stone age and finding some flash drive, not being able to get the data off of it.

Just speculating here.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:40 PM
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It's SO refreshing when an intelligent post pops up on the front page! Thanks!
I've been saying this for a long time, everyone assumes that the data will be
processable somehow. WRONG!
Thanks!



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 02:58 PM
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Did you know they are not teaching cursive writing in U.S. schools anymore?

Sounds harmless enough, but how will people sign their names? Don't you have to know how to write cursive to sign your name?

This is clearly a move away from the "individual" and to the "number".



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:10 PM
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Αnother problem i see, is that you have to have the proper means to read DVDs, USB mass storage devices and the like, if you dont have them this data become obsolete.
However written stuff on paper you can always read, and even if you re not able to comprehend the language you can decipher it after a while



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:23 PM
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And we wonder why we can't find any evidence of past cultures..History repeats itself,,Could past civilizations actually done the same thing..No evidence to support or deny,,Makes me say "Maybe""



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:32 PM
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reply to post by rtcctr
 


Some good speculation for sure and I've wondered the same. Also a catastrophic event with our planet could wipe out history but maybe, just maybe, the cultures that managed to preserve history as is written or engraved on stone did so for the sole purpose of understanding that was the best way to hand records down through time.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 03:42 PM
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The dead sea scrolls and whatnots are time capsules that previous cultures left, The same reason why we are doing them now...so someone in the future will know we were culturalized in the past.



posted on Jun, 3 2010 @ 07:52 PM
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Originally posted by Stewie
Did you know they are not teaching cursive writing in U.S. schools anymore?

Sounds harmless enough, but how will people sign their names? Don't you have to know how to write cursive to sign your name?

This is clearly a move away from the "individual" and to the "number".
I had no idea, I'm surprised by that.

But we can see where this is going, signing for something less than $50 with a thumbprint, and if it's over $50 add a retinal scan. They'll have both at the checkout counter at Walmart to replace the current gizmo where you sign your name.

About two weeks ago, the local grocery store suddenly stopped asking me to sign the credit card purchase! They suddenly no longer require a signature for purchases less than $50!!

@Kandinsky, yes those old 8-tracks are a good example. Betamax VCRs might be hard to find too. You can probably find old 8-track and betamax players, but over time, fewer and fewer of them will be working. They don't last forever. Not to mention the signal on the magnetic tape also declines over time.

Hopefully the gold plated record on Voyager will last a while.



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