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Delete – The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age

(Crossposted at Complexity and Social Networks Blog)

I knew I was in for a treat when I sat down to listen to Viktor Mayer-Schoenberger at NYU's Law School yesterday afternoon. Viktor discussed his new book, Delete - The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age, and kicked off a book tour that will take him to several US locations (I've listed upcoming talks below). Although he had arrived from Singapore only hours prior to giving his talk, he engaged the audience with his clever presentation, leaving us wanting more even after 45 minutes of Q&A.

Mayer-Schoenberger beautifully illustrates our society's transition from "biological forgetting to digital remembering". While for generations our efforts have concentrated on trying to remember events, actions, etc. and preserve them for posterity, in today's world we are facing the opposite problem: The digital memory is here to stay. However, the book argues, forgetting has its virtues, and needs to be reintroduced. The solution is simple: Put an expiration date on information.

The book is a great read (as soon as I got it, my non-academic spouse snagged it and took it on a business trip, which usually doesn't happen with the books I order), and I am not even close to doing it justice with this description, so if you find yourselves near any of the locations of the book tour, make sure to stop by and join the discussion.

Future stops (from here):
• Harvard's Berkman Center on October 7 at 6 pm
• Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy on October 8 at 4.30 pm
• Town Hall Seattle on October 19 at 7.30 pm
• University of California Berkeley Law School on October 22 at 4 pm


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by marbisch
10/07/09. 02:58:43 pm. 274 words, 124007 views. Categories: News , Leave a comment »Send a trackback »

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