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The Value of Forgetting

Posted Feb 27 2013 10:06pm

I read an interesting new book, “ Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age ” this week.  The book itself is really not that good, but it does make one compelling point: most information is not meant to be remembered forever.

The digital age makes it easy to store information.  However, for most of human history, forgetting was the norm and remembering was the exception.  Human memory is for valuable information.  In this way, digital memory may overwhelm people with unnecessary trivial information.

One of the ideas put forward by the author is that digital information should have an “expiration date.”  After a certain time, the information should vanish from the web.

He also mentions “digital rusting”, where information may somehow slowly fade over time.

Why I am interested in this?  It triggered some thoughts related to this blog’s content, which I’ll discuss in the next post.

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