Happy to be one of the first thousand...
...or so people to use this application. Placeme is the kind of service that I've been trying to convince people about the value of for years. It basically monitors your world. It is a breach of privacy overload but I still want it.
Ten years ago, I met the most important person in my life. I know where I met her, I know that it was a summer's evening, and that it was raining. I remember my heart racing. I remember the emotion as if it was yesterday, but I cannot even remember what day of the week it was. Perhaps the memories are somewhere in the recesses of my mind, but I do not know how to retrieve them. Sometimes our memories become confused, distorted.
If I had this app ten years ago, I would now know the exact minute she entered my life, the exact temperature even, and every moment since. Data about every moment would be preserved. Right now, I know that there are things that I've forgotten about my life, but if I had had this app there would be something to remind me. Something would be remain, rather than being a memory slowly burning in the fires of time.
This is about your entire life being recorded, and you wouldn't have to check-in or do a thing. Data would be collected about you passively, and you'd be able to come back at a later date and search your life. Yeah... it's freaky.
This is a fundamental change in the way that we can view our individual lives on this little rock, but it is also part of an overall shift in the way world history is recorded.
We neatly divide the past into pre-history and history, as the dawn of civilisation and the written word allowed us to collect stories about our past and build up a picture of life hundreds or thousands of years ago. If you go back before the written word, the amount of information that we have plummets. We struggle to even separate fact and legend. Archaeologists find pre-historic remains, and try to understand a little about the lives of those people, but even something as simple as a person's name get's lost because people in pre-historic times didn't know how to write it down. The written word changed everything for humankind, and allowed us to learn much more from our past and to grow as a people.
I believe that the dawn of being able to collect data digitally marks a a second major change in the way that history is viewed by future generations that is just as significant as the first arrival of the written word. The way we are learning to collect, collate and analyse data is going to allow us to soon create a whole new kind of history that is will be so much more detailed than ever before.
The future of history, or from our point of view the history of the future, will be a collage of images, ambient data, personal stories, that are sown together in such a way that people in the year 2100 will be able to rewind the clock back to any time or place in, for instance, 2050, and explore a detailed and accurate virtual representation of that world. This is so radically different from our concept of "history" that it will probably need a new name to appropriately describe our pre-www and post-www documentation of our civilisation.
There is so much potential sitting in this little unassuming app... it's a shame the damned thing loves sucking so much power from my phone battery =)
So, erm... Hello world!