Andrew (perspectivism) wrote,

What Will You Do With All The Memory You Save?

From the Cliff Notes on the future:

So if the sum of everything man has ever done creatively�all books ever written, all art ever made, all songs ever recorded, all movies ever filmed�could be swallowed whole by tomorrow's hard drives and removable media and still leave room to spare, what on Earth would you do with the remaining space still to come? For a start, there's always non-creative and semi-creative data like photographs, bureaucratic paperwork, millions of home videos and so-on.

Having so much storage capacity has an effect on peoples' minds like an empty stomach does, and it won't be unusual for people to start looking for new things to put on their computers after they've already exhausted every musical tastebud in their ear and recorded every TV show they'll ever watch. They'll buy security cameras, keep long voice messages to themselves, and record all of their phone conversations because they �might come in handy, someday�. The pack-rat syndrome will only get worse because it'll be too much bother to clean up.

But something else will happen to people, thanks to our whopping-huge hard drives and the infinite succession of bigger ones destined to come: we'll all feel compelled to turn up the spigots on our creativity. Whole new cultures and ethics emerged when people from crowded European cities migrated to the United States, for example, and found themselves out in the middle of countryside so wide and empty that even the horizon was too far away to see. Some might conclude this will mean lots more crap art, music and literature being made (as Sturgeon's Law predicts and television doesn't disprove), but that may be wrong. Art stands on the shoulders of giants, and now you can carry a few thousand giants around in your shirt pocket. ("Honey, I Shrunk The Universe")
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