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delving in to each one.

your book you write about the case of AJ, a 41 year old woman in California, who does not have the biological gift of forgetting. Can you tell me the story and why is it that a nearly perfect memory turns up to be so troubling for her? Viktor Mayer Schönberger: AJ is an individual, who has difficulties forgetting. In fact, she can remember what happened in her life rather precisely – to the point of recalling each day 20, 30 years ago: when she got up, what was on TV, who called her, etc. Rather than being happy about such immense recall, AJ is quite troubled by it. All of the wrong decisions she took in her past are always present, to the point of limiting her ability to decide and act in the present. Often she seems to see only trees, not the forest.

Simona Fiore: My first question is about the title of the book: why Forgetting is considered a Virtue in the Digital Age? Viktor Mayer Schönberger: Forgetting has been a fundamental human quality for millennia. It has always performed important functions: it let’s us put aside events in the past that are no longer relevant for what we are in the present; it let’s us generalize and abstract, to see the forest rather than just trees; as human beings to change and evolve. And forgetting is easy for us – it is built into our brains, it’s biological and just happens. Unfortunately, in the digital age we now have digital tools available that capture and keep accessible information forever and at very low cost. In essence, although we humans still forget, the digital tools we use daily do not forget anymore. Our past remains fixed through the power of Google search.

Simona Fiore: Why remembering is the default and forgetting has become much more expensive in the digital age? Viktor Mayer Schönberger: This is due to technical evolution: digitization made it possible to use standard tools and gadgets to store vastly different kinds of information: images, video, sound, text, data. Plummeting storage costs, powerful software for easy information retrieval, and the Internet as a worldwide access infrastructure make digital information today so

Simona Fiore: At the beginning of 92

DIGIMAG 52 - MARCH 2010  

Digimag was one of the most important international magazines focused on the impact of media technologies on art, design and contemporary cu...

DIGIMAG 52 - MARCH 2010  

Digimag was one of the most important international magazines focused on the impact of media technologies on art, design and contemporary cu...

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