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WOW! This is an interactive film about #digital #memory that uses your own data to personalize it...

"We're moving from a period in which most of the details of our lives were forgotten to one in which many, perhaps most of them, will be captured." (page 28)

This quote made me thing about how differently I am able to remember events from people of previous generations. Firstly, today nearly everyone has a camera wether it be a dedicated camera or a cell phone camera which means that we are much better able to document images of events that people before the camera was invented. But cameras have been around for over a hundred years. I feel that the big difference from us who Clive Thompson says are capturing details of our lives and those who forget these details is the use of social media. Facebook for example has millions, of users who post about themselves daily. They are able to document pictures from their lives, events they went to, and post statuses that likely reveal their thoughts. With life being so well documented, it seems very unlikely that events, events, details, locations or even thoughts throughout life will ever be forgotten. That's just Facebook alone. Messaging services such as iMessage log all of a persons conversations forever until deleted. At one point, I had 10 GB of iMessage data which consisted of just conversations and some media. With this tool, even conversations can be remembered. There are many more examples of how today, people are able to log their lives using technology. It is worth wondering if this is actually beneficial. Does the ability to have every life event logged to help with remembering life details really increase a person's happiness with their lives?

"Our new tools are powerful, but only if we're taught to use them" (page 208)

I have first hand experience this first hand. To people who do not know how to use now technological tools, it can be impossible to get anything done with them. Conversely, people who are very good at using them are able to get things done very quickly. The problem I see in society is that the older generations usually have no idea how to use new technology and no one is willing or able to teach them how to complete tasks using new technology. For example, my parents have always been very bad with computers and they rarely ever got anything done. I have been teaching them the main concepts of using computers, and since then they have been able to very efficiently accomplish tasks. This show the importance of teaching people how to use technology before expecting them to competently use it.

"I think when you see yourself as a member of a huge group, you’re not as confident in your own voice and the efficacy of your contribution." (page 233)

This is very true. In group settings, usually more than one person has some input. But in a larger group, there is usually so many people that some or most of the contributors ideas are  ignored. I feel that I am heard much better and my ideas are more often implemented in small groups that in bigger groups. I have even found that sometimes in really big groups I am unable to express my ideas to everyone so I keep them to myself. Also, people seem to back up their friends ideas in a group so no one else's idea is really considered. This can be very difficult and makes small groups better for expressing and implementing ideas.

“But as we develop ever more new modes for expressing our ideas and recording knowledge, the challenge will be figuring out when to use which form.”  (page 110)

I see this to be a constant problem. There are so many ways in which I communicate with others and occasionally I can't decide which is best to use. With my friends, I am able to communicate over many different services such as iMessage, SMS Text Messaging, Facebook Chat, Skype Text and Chat, FaceTime, Phone Calls, Google Plus Chat, and many more. I sometimes cannot decide which would be the best to use. Of course some of these tools are better for communicating some messages than others, but they could all be used for the purpose of communicating. This makes it unnecessary for people to have all of these, but they do. With services like SMS Text Messaging, iMessage, and Facebook Messaging, there is no real difference because they all immediately go to the recipients phone. I really see no difference and no point in having all of these, but people seem to use all of these for the same purpose.

The study described in the beginning of this novel really fascinates me. Every aspects of it makes me realize how advanced technology is and how many amazing things can be done with it. I am amazed by the part about how after the guy's father passed away, he was able to look back on when his father was playing with his son. It was as if he was a ghost. I find it so interesting because even though his father is gone, he is not truly gone. The grandchild will be able to look make through this database and meet his grandfather, even though he has passed away.

"If we remembered every single detail of everything, we wouldn't be able to make sense of anything. Forgetting is a gift and a curse: by chipping away at what we experience in everyday life, we leave behind a sculpture that's meaningful to us, even if sometimes it happens to be wrong." (24) 

I find it interesting that this quote states that forgetting is a good and a bad thing. I completely agree with this statement, but I have never thought of how accurate this is. It is horrible to forget something when you, for instance, are in a test or in the middle of a speak. However, if you have an embarrassing moment, it is good to have the ability to forget about that horrible moment. 

The creations of internet programs, similar to the Usenet communities the book mentioned and similar to the IRC programs I run, they spread knowledge between people and can advance, through the use of technology, teaching people everything faster advancing the human intelligence ability.  How are computers and networks used to advance our understandings beyond that of what a conventional program can teach at faster rates using algorithms proved by science to increase learning capabilities?

"Ambient contact doesn’t just reshape life online. It’s also altering the way we interact physically." (pg. 312)

The way people are interacting nowadays are much different than how people did before our modern day technology. When we are having a conversation with someone physically, even though we may take no notice, half the time our conversations will be based on what’s in our phones or on social media. This may not go for everyone, but it does apply to a good portion of our society today. In the baby boomer generation, if they wanted to make a call they would have to physically go to a wired telephone pole. They didn’t have the freedom of making a call anytime and anywhere they wanted. That allowed them to meet people more frequently. In modern days, most of our conversations are placed in virtual group chats and not face to face. For some people, they are more likely to meet new people through social media than physically.

“The internet has shriveled our attention spans and strip-mined human intimacy.” (pg. 301)
I believe that this doesn’t apply to everyone in our society, however human intimacy has been cut down to some degree because of how easily we have access to communication. I think having easy access to communication creates a more efficient working society. Sometimes things have to change in order for a new and better thing to take its place. 

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Haven't really commented much. I actually wrote this summary of the book recently.

Continuing on from where Weinberger finished, Thompson sets out to dispel many myths associated with technology, about it being a panacea to all our ills, to it being the start of the apocalypse. The book is as much about how technology can extend us as it is about how it already is. Unpacking our lived digital lives, not everything that we have today is new. Some fears, some forms of innovation, have been around for hundreds of years. On the flip side of this, history shows that we often refine and improve the tools we have, Thompson therefore offers a glimpse into a possible future. One debunked myth that really stood out to me was the notion that because of technology we read and write less, subsequently leading to a decline in literacy standards. Instead, Thompson points out that with the aid of technology we actually read and write far more than we ever did before. Challenge is being critical.

However, I came upon this Podcast about 'online comments' and thought that it might be good to share. Although not directly on Thompson's work, it elaborates on some of the issues that he unpacks, particularly around 'public thinking'. Interesting listening.

“To understand how technology affects social change, you have to look at how it affects the way we think, learn, and cooperate with others, and how local cultures come into play.  All the enhancements of our cognition–bigger memory, public thinking, new literacies, and ambient awareness–play critical roles in how political change unfolds and how it’s thwarted.” (Thompson 250) 

There are so many facets of how technology impacts society.  It is so interesting to see the way society forms and evolves.  When you look at different countries and cultures, the difference in our societal norms become clearly evident.  We all travel in different directions, even though overlapping often occurs they are clearly different.  Technology had greatly contributed to these different paths that society has taken.  Being so involved in our life, technology has now (basically) taken the role as a necessity.  I find this so incredibly interesting.  Without technology many people would not know what to do and how to spend their time, all of the sudden time would be a major issue.  Evidently, technology has not only effected our environment socially but physically as well.  As technology has evolved, I feel that the definition of being social has changed.  I usually think of being social as a physical, face to face act.  Going out, meeting friends, doing an activity together.  However, now one could be considered social if they are frequently involved on social networking sites.  These types of evolutions are interesting.  American society has changed dramatically over the past 20 years, it will be interesting to see where its headed and how it continues to progress. 
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