Imagine having a meticulous personal secretary who wrote down everything that happened to you --- all that you saw and heard (and smelled and tasted and felt) every day. Would this be a good thing, or an embarrassment (of riches, or otherwise)? Technology is almost ready to make it possible. Would a human being's life, recorded in such a fashion, offer a form of immortality, at least as long as the record remained intact? How much would be missing unless internal dialogue, "talking to oneself", were also recorded? (Must one transcribe every thought?)

More importantly, what good would a complete log be (other than perhaps settling certain arguments and solving crimes)? What really "counts" in a life? Great histories are not just exhaustive catalogs of events. Biographic genius lies in the discovery of meaning --- shining a searchlight on key moments, critical decisions, turning points, crises and their resolution. Making sense of a life takes imagination and insight, not mere voyeurism.

Friday, February 25, 2000 at 05:52:32 (EST) = 2000-02-25

TopicJournalizing - TopicWriting

(correlates: ThisSide, VirtualFriendships, PrinciplesOfEthicalPower, ...)