Slight in treatment, but not wrong in thinking,
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This review is from: Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age (Hardcover)
Mayer-Schonberg's account of the perils of instant digital recall may be slight, but it isn't wrong in its conclusions about the creation of a present that we can never switch off. There is a deeper question here that he footles about with on exactly why we would want to arrange ourselves in such a way as to never have a forgotten moment, at least not anything recorded digitally. With the expansion of devices to do such a thing, we might all be headed for the fate of data-bore Gordon Bell but for the reality that he shows exactly how dull life can be by recording it in such anodyne detail. The implications for social arrangements are potentially filled with the sort of conflicts of interest Mayer-Schonberger so dutifully records.
Won't we eventually come to the realization that we aren't all saints? Mayer-Schonberger might also be taken to task for exactly the same fault: his argument about art and culture is astonishingly ahistoric, but it does not mean that some long cherished ideas about the public space are not in danger. It is this that brings us to a different conclusion: given the initial freedom of cyberspace has now been colonised by the corporates, won't the real effect of this behaviour be to eliminate the individual from the Internet except as a corporate actor?