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Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age

From: Toby Inkster <tai@g5n.co.uk>
Date: Wed, 25 Nov 2009 10:34:06 +0000
To: public-xg-socialweb@w3.org
Message-ID: <1259145246.708.82.camel@ophelia2.g5n.co.uk>
I'm about half-way through this book by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger.

It covers how, with the invention of language, writing, printing, and
now digital storage, it has become progressively cheaper and easier to
store information rather than not. For example, if you assume it takes 3
seconds to decide whether to keep or delete a photograph, and you assume
your time is worth an average wage, then going through your digital
camera and deciding which photos to keep is now more expensive than the
hard disk space required to simply keep them all.

The default behaviour was once to forget, as remembering took effort. In
the last decade or so though, this has been changing towards a default
policy of remembering. Mayer-Schonberger discusses the implications
(some positive, many negative) this is having on society, and possible

It's a really good read, very jargon-free, and I highly recommend it to
SWXG members as it has a lot of relevance to what we're doing.

Toby A Inkster
Received on Wednesday, 25 November 2009 10:34:54 UTC

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