Necessary Amnesia

Consider the human experience without social amnesia or ignorance. How much would our humanity change if we had perfect, albeit technologically facilitated, recall? Have we not evolved useful forgetfulness?

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What becomes of us when the Internet - and social media especially - reduces the possibility of anonymity, privacy, and selective absence and omission? We are traceable; our thoughts are recorded, our identities have become an anachronistic singularity.

The Internet compresses time. It enables visibility and ubiquity, but we are linear, chronological animals for whom hiding and voluntary engagement have hitherto been valuable tactical options. What are we becoming? Are privacy, the ability to forget, and the option of invisibility no longer available? Should we, can we, these days be free to move away from what we were, now that the relationships, events, attitudes, and opinions that characterised our past selves are as present as those committed to digital form mere seconds ago?

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