Friday, July 17, 2015

All Those Pictures (what do we do with them?)



I read an article (Chicago Tribune) on the Internet last week:

Basically someday our brains will be obsolete because we’ll all have smart phones and other devices reminding us to go to appointments, time to pull the laundry out of the dryer, pick up dry cleaning, make a left turn, buy birthday cards, etc.

We’ll never have to remember another phone number ever.

Most of the really important stuff will be up in the Cloud, and all we’ll have to do is type in a command to retrieve it or pull it down. I already google “that thing that somebody said” and other obscure phrases just to see what will prick my memory. Sometimes I have absolutely no idea at all of what it was I was trying to remember, but after googling and refining my search I can usually find what I was looking for. Now if I could just find what’s in my purse—but that’s another matter.

The article talked about “digital amnesia.” In a survey (on-line??) 90 percent said that “they use the Internet as an online extension of their brain.”

The point is: we don’t need to remember. Because if we do need to access a fact or image all we have to do is google it and it comes back to us in a second. How many times were you in the middle of a conversation and lost your train of thought or the name or face was there at the tip of your tongue and brain—and you paused a minute to check it on Facebook or using your device to confirm what it was you were talking about. Like all the time, right?

This is a good thing because we don’t have to waste our brain cells remembering stuff and it’s a bad thing because—what the heck are we remembering?

In effect, we are already becoming one with the machine: “We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found,” according to the Science article.

That one thing, you know, uhh . . .is only a click away.

Now—what about all those endless food pictures and selfies we take? And never get around to looking at. Are we taking pictures so that we never have to rely on memory, actually remember a special evening out and that the oysters were to die for . . .

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