Thursday, 20 April 2017
With What Shall I Remember The Future?
Fifty years ago I thought about today ... the 21st century and how it would be - I wish I had written it down so that I could see what I actually thought rather than try to remember what I thought ... with all the construction and interpretation involved with that.
I wonder what the world will be like 50 years from now - what will life be like in 2067!
I'd like to record what I think life will be like in 2067 but how should I do this?
Recording to remember and communicate is an act of technology .. a use of signs and language - either spoken, written, or drawn ... I'm wondering if acting something out physically comes into this but even that uses the language of gestures etc.
"With What Shall I Remember The Future?" ... asking the question is a reflection of today .. there are so many options available BUT there is so much uncertainty about the future of all those options .. .about the permanency of any technology we have today.
Making thought physical ... making marks on physical objects (cave drawings, tablet chipping, marks on paper) or making physical objects - artefacts, pottery sculpture etc has a degree of longevity and permanence but is slower to communicate. Recording things virtually using electronics is faster to communicate but is far more ephemeral ... electronic and magnetic symbols (e.g. hard drive magnetic polarities, types of ROM and flash memory) fade over time unless refreshed (just like my memory) and then there is the problem of accessing them in the future ... who can access a 12in floppy disk today or a vinyl record, cassette tape or even a VCR tape. Then there are the "platforms" - Facebook, Google, Tumblr, Wordpress, Medium, Linkedin etc ... but will we be able to access these in the future .. will Facebook be around 50 years from now? Those involved with surveillance technology say that nothing is ever forgotten on the web but will our memories be ours or will the platforms that host them change, be bought and sold and will walls be erected and we have to pay to access them .. a bit like paying a cryogenics company to preserve and resurrect us in the future.
On the one hand 50 years doesn't seem that long ... I remember the 1960s almost as if it were yesterday but by today's rate of change in technology 50 years is a long time.
"With What Shall I Remember The Future?" .. this exposes a classic problem today ... fast communication for today and the near future Vs slower communication for the longer term future.
"With What Shall I Remember The Future?" .. asking this is almost symbolic of out time .. a time when we understand better than ever before how our actions have and will change the planet but a time when so many are willing to sacrifice the future for the present.
symbol of today .. ephemeral .. aware of future but selling it