The end of the information frontier

AI and Society 28 (1):7-14 (2013)
The possibility now exists of capturing a cradle-to-grave record of everything a person says or does. No longer must a personal history be a partial picture. Technology has made it possible to record, process, store, and retrieve all the text, sounds, and images that are required to paint a complete picture of an individual’s life. The efforts of future historians will be directed more to forgetting than to remembering. By default, society will forget nothing. For almost all of human history, remembering has meant the judicious selection and organization of observations about events and people. There used to be an information frontier beyond which the past was a tabula rasa . That information frontier has gone the way of the dodo. The social memory of events in an individual’s life is not only detailed but permanent. Although physical storage is fallible and changes in technology may make some devices effectively unreadable, these limitations are more than made up for by the negligible cost of duplication and distribution in a network. The record of one’s triumphs and tragedies will haunt one forever. Gone is personal privacy since facts buried in the past can be uncovered at any moment. Gone is personal memory since it is easier to rely on the external social memory of cyberspace. In what follows, we explain these observations and trace their consequences.
Keywords Digital media  Social memory  Personal memory  Social knowledge  Virtual directed  Data surveillance  Personal privacy  Transient identity
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,360
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA
    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Norman Mooradian (2009). The Importance of Privacy Revisited. Ethics and Information Technology 11 (3):163-174.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    6 ( #162,892 of 1,089,047 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,722 of 1,089,047 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.