Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Not me


14 comments:

  1. It's Revolution, brother!
    I wonder what would happen if citizens sued the NSA for copyright infringement?

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  2. "his right to die and be forgotten"
    what an evocative thought

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    1. It used to be that individuals had to struggle to be heard, to be published, to be immortalized. Now we have to struggle to remain unnoticed, to remain private, to be allowed to die. There is a very eerie scene in the novel where we glimpse a vast, dark space that is ready to be filled with sarcophagus-like boxes that will contain individuals' total life-data. We will be made permanent at the cost of really living and really dying. And this is just barely science fiction -- it's already taking shape.

      (For a prescient exploration of some of these possibilities, see Adolfo Bioy Casares' 1940 novel The Invention of Morel.)

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    2. "... his right to die and be forgotten ..."
      While you were visiting New Haven did you get a chance to hear the Whiffenpoofs eponymous song in which theysing that that "will serenade our Louie while life and voice shall last // Then we'll pass and be forgotten with the rest"?
      I'm not sure this is Eggers' or your contributors' right as much as an observation of commonplace occurrence.

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    3. Thanks, John, I wasn't aware of that song.

      Up to now, nearly all human experience and expression has vanished, never to be retrieved except in the memory of God. It has been lost except for the few whose works or deeds have managed to gain "immortal fame" in human memory. We are now entering an era, though, where the preservation of a large portion of human experience through machine memory has become technically possible. Eggers raises the question of whether such preservation would be good.

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  3. Wow, what should we call this, perhaps "Pencasting"? Loved the piece and I can relate more to it because I went back to using a fountain pen and keeping an ink bottle, trying to improve my hand-writing, another personal skill which we are fast losing in the face of digital onslaught.

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  4. I am very moved by this. I was conscious of pencasting and typecasting being excellent means of communication in words that aren't yet searchable (except, perhaps, for the clues we offer in post headings). In terms of feeling "owned", I was more concerned that in blogging, we attract readers who think that since we put ourselves out there in the public domain, our blogs can be used for their purposes, not necessarily ours. That's when I ask myself who "owns" my blog. As for 1984, some truly frightening visions have been raised by Robert Manne in the latest issue of Australian magazine The Monthly, in regards to Rupert Murdoch's enormous power and political ambitions, "The Power of One". Phone hacking is just one means by which Murdoch seeks to control everyone of us, and give us what HE thinks is best for us - 1984 indeed.

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    1. I toyed with calling this post "I love puppies" in order to put the robots off the scent!

      It's true that various predatory readers or their electronic surrogates can use and misuse our blogs. This blog is also hosted by G-who-shall-not-be-named, and if for some reason the company wanted to eliminate Blogspot, or if the company collapsed with all its products (joining Internet giants of the past), the blog would be annihilated. That's why I keep my little portfolios of typecasts to reread in my doddering years.

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  5. Well said! I've got to get the book.

    My biggest peeve with G and Y and all the other out of control digital behemoths is that they can do what they want and society is at their mercy because ever since the beginning people believe their propaganda (the Redmond bunch) and support them by using and buying their products. I like free, but free is not really free. I support them too: I have a blog.

    I also keep all the real stuff I post since that cannot be destroyed by the digital world. Look what happened to Geocities.

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  6. Annnddd...just ordered it. I heard about this book a while ago, but completely forgot about it up until now. Can't wait to read it. Will probably have to wait until after Nano..

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  7. Which is, of course, why I'll ostensibly typecast about beer while slipping sedition and insurgency, almost invisibly, between the lines. Cryptic titles help too. I don't need to feed my paranoia so probably won't end up reading the book. But thanks for airing its concerns and it is good to know someone's on the case.

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  8. Richard! you are blogging with a pen, or, as I would put it, PLOGGING the other half of TLOGGING!!!!
    --Marty

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    1. You are right! Welcome to the first day of the rest of my plog.

      Or something.

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