Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Thesis i 3.21.11


Published on

work in prog for thesis I presentation.

  • Login to see the comments

  • Be the first to like this

Thesis i 3.21.11

  1. 1. Title page (last week it was Eternal Memory but I’m not sure that is the best)
  2. 2. <ul><li>This thesis presents the hypothesis that the external memory created by social networking sites and other forms of digital recording in cyberspace may have negative consequences for personal and professional advancement. </li></ul><ul><li>The high level of detail with which sites like Facebook record events interferes with our natural ability to forget, suggesting that a need exists for digital forgetfulness. In contrast to widely accepted notions of the desirability for legacy through photographic and text-based documentation, being able to quickly surpass every detail of a difficult experience, can be ultimately advisable for personal and social betterment. </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the role of human memory in personal development might provide an explanation for how digital archiving hinders the natural process of letting go. This in turn could lead to a solution that would restore the ability to forget every detail of past experiences. </li></ul>Hypothesis
  3. 3. What is Human Memory? mem •o•r y  (mm-r) n. pl. mem •o•r ies memories the faculty by which the mind stores and remembers information Oxford Dictionary
  4. 4. Three Main Branches of Human Memory <ul><li>Sensory Memory: Information recalled through the senses. Lasts a few seconds </li></ul><ul><li>Short Term Memory (STM): System that transfers information in our sensory memory to our consciousness. This is active information that lasts up to 30 seconds. Reading this slide is an example of STM. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Working Memory : Is the process that occurs when focus on material lasts longer than STM will allow. An example of this would be memorizing a phone number </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Displacement: When new information pushes out old information stored in STM. For instance, you ask for the area code and then instantly forget the last two digits of the number you had previously memorized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Long Term memory (LTM) : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Declarative Memory : Memory that we consciously access </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Semantic Memory: Generic facts; Florence is a city in Italy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Episodic Memory: Autobiographical memories; I lived in Florence for 4 months during college. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implicit (or Procedural) Memory: Automatic memory that has been stored due to excessive practice or habit; ie. Brushing your teeth </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Memory is a two-step process <ul><li>The first step of memory is committing information to long term memory </li></ul><ul><li>The second step of memory Is retrieving that information </li></ul>
  6. 6. What is External Memory? <ul><li>Information stored outside of the human mind </li></ul><ul><li>We think of external memory these days in terms of technology, since it is the name given to portable devices used for storing information. However external memory has been around for more than 30,000 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Forms of external memory (I’m thinking of doing a timeline infographic here): </li></ul><ul><li>Painting (starting with cave paintings) </li></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul><ul><li>Photography </li></ul><ul><li>Record </li></ul><ul><li>Film </li></ul>
  7. 7. How digitization has revolutionized external memory <ul><li>Up until digitization, information was in analog format, meaning it was stored as an exact rendition of the original format. The problem with analog is that every time it is copied, random variations or noise are added to the original information. A perfect example of this is tape cassettes. I can remember copying a copy of my friend’s cassette and being disappointed by the muffled quality of sound. And when I tried to copy that copy, I introduced more noise, resulting in an incomprehensible sound. Digitization differs because this noise is avoided, which means that quality is not affected with each copy. The 100th digital copy of a photo is an exact replica of the original. </li></ul><ul><li>“ By eliminating noise, the incremental forgetting inherent in analog technology, the notion of originals and copies is rapidly becoming an outdated concept. All digital copies are indistinguishable from the original. This has the advantage of giving everyone who possesses a ‘copy’ perfect access to all of the information and value of the original” -from Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, p. 60 </li></ul><ul><li>Recording external memories in digital format=DIGITAL MEMORY </li></ul>
  8. 8. Forgetting <ul><li>“ Since the beginning of time, for us humans, forgetting has been the norm and remembering the exception. Because of digital technology and global networks, however, this balance has shifted. Today, with the help of widespread technology, forgetting has become the exception, and remembering the default” -from Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, p. 2 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Why We Forget <ul><li>As INDIVIDUALS we forget so that we can prioritize </li></ul><ul><li>We forget because “…W e are meant to forget. Why? Well, because the primary function of an organism is always to survive a n d if I can ’t prioritize what I need to remember, then I ’m taken up with all kinds of extraneous details, I can ’t attend to you, I ’m not able to connect, and I fail as an organism.” -D r. Devi from Martha Weinman Lear ’’s book Where Did I Leave My Glasses?, p.32 </li></ul><ul><li>“ Forgetting plays a central role in human decision-making. It lets us act in time, cognizant of, but not shackled by, past events. Through perfect memory we may lose a fundamental human capacity--to live and act firmly in the present.” -from Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, p. 12 </li></ul><ul><li>As a SOCIETY we forget so that we can redeem ourselves </li></ul><ul><li>“… societal forgetting gives indivduals who have failed a second chance….Through…societal forgetting, of erasing external memories, our society accepts that human beings evolve over time, that we have the capacity to learn from past experiences and adjust our behavior.” -from Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, p. 13 </li></ul>
  10. 10. How forgetting has become the exception According to Viktor Mayer-Schonbeger, author of Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, “remembering has become the norm, and forgetting the exception(p. 52)” with the help of these four factors: <ul><li>Digitization ( maybe discuss example of girl who gets even with meme generator? Original copy lives on in remixed format.) </li></ul><ul><li>Cheap storage- example of digital photos p. 68. “Assuming it takes only three seconds for a person to look at an image and decide whether to preserve it or not, and that she values her own time at a current average wage, the ‘cost’ of the time alone that ti takes to decide exceeds the cost of storage.” </li></ul><ul><li>Easy retrieval- we don’t have to read page by page of a book to find information anymore. We can simply type keywords into a search engine like Google. As a result, findings are decontextualized </li></ul><ul><li>Global Reach- once information is shared in the digital world, one loses control over it because, unlike analog format, the information does not degrade with each copy made. Each interaction made can be shared with other, who then share it with others..and so on. </li></ul>
  11. 11. The challenges presented by the demise of forgetting according to Mayer-Schonbeger <ul><li>Power “..people have long understood that the power of information is derived from the ability to control access to it” -Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye (p.98) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Accessibility: author makes the point that we are willing to share information with others in a particular context and for a particular purpose. “This works well when information is stored in separate disconnected containers” (p.101). However, with cheap storage, easy retrieval and global reach, people have the ability to gather, access and spread information about us. Sites like Spokeo pool together all of our information from online sites we use, like Facebook and Amazon, to create a thorough profile about us, including where we live, who our family members are, what our relationship status is and how much money we make. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Durability : Google remembers billions of search queries every day. And as was the case with Jack Wepple, it takes a lot of effort, time and money to have whatever information you put out there removed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comprehensiveness : Maintaining at least some control over my own information gives me the space I need to define myself (p. 108). If everyone has unlimited access to me through digital remembering, I’m going to self-censor myself for fear of how it might affect me down the road. Professor of Psychology at Harvard Daniel Schacter believes that the past we remember is constantly evolving by the influence of who we are in the present. The past captured in digital memory is frozen in time, thereby denyingus the ability to “recontstrct” one’s personal history” (p. 108) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Time ** I haven’t gotten to this part yet </li></ul>
  12. 12. In favor of remembering <ul><li>While Mayer-Schonbeger makes a strong case for the importance of forgetting, Gordon Bell highlights the positives of remembering with such detail. Bell is a </li></ul><ul><li>writer and principal researcher at Microsoft who uses a sense camera around his neck to snap photos of people he meets. He’s scanned and catalogued his entire life for more than ten years. In his book, Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything, he gives example after example of how his life logging program MyLifeBits has been a positive tool in aiding his memory. And there are many notable positives. Digital memory helps </li></ul><ul><li>Capture moments that bring us happiness </li></ul><ul><li>Remember birthdays and weddings </li></ul><ul><li>Provide companies with knowledge necessary to operate </li></ul><ul><li>Allow people to share knowledge that can benefit others </li></ul><ul><li>Prevent society from “making costly and dangerous mistakes twice” p.10 in Delete </li></ul>
  13. 13. No title at moment <ul><li>But interestingly in his book, Bell writes that at almost every lecture he gives, one audience member will ask him about the desirability of forgetting for the purpose.To which he responds: </li></ul>“ But you can easily avoid replaying [upsetting] memories” “ You can put a lock on those events you’d like to forget and never open them up again”
  14. 14. But for some of us, avoiding replaying painful memories is not easy… <ul><li>Give a personal example of use with Facebook ? </li></ul><ul><li>And so for those of us who can’t avoid fixating on an ex’s Facebook profile or the hateful comments posted on our Youtube video, there is another challenge that we face with the demise of forgetting: the ability to cope </li></ul><ul><ul><li>I need to look into the process of coping….. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>I often hear “Why don’t you just delete anything negative?” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>As Mayer-Schonbeger points out, digital memory lives on forever and even if I erase it, I have no control over who else shares the memory (Sarah Palin’s target poster brought up with Arizona shooting) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Compulsion: part of human nature (reading about this now) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Potential Solutions <ul><li>Coping Kit </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Safe </li></ul>