So not too long ago I read this post from Amanda Palmer which talks about a few things: but more specifically how Bloggers may be “the next writers,” emails are replacing letters as personal correspondence and how it will be challenging for historians and outside archivists to preserve all of this.
You know, sometimes I look at this. Right here. I look at this: I look at all of this–my Blog, social sites, email and the Internet itself–and I realize how really ephemeral it all is.
I am not a technological or computer expert, but some days I just imagine there being some kind of event that overloads information and backups to the point where this–all of this–is gone. It makes me remember that I don’t back-up any of my Blog posts on here. What I mean is, they are all essentially sent directly onto my WordPress, and if anything happens this would all be gone.
Then I think about the reverse. I think about the Internet and computer technology continuing to evolve: to points where we can’t even dream it will go. Imagine a future where technology becomes more intuitive–as though it is an extension of the human body in how you can easily access it like moving your arm–and all that old information comes with it. Or will it? Will old data from ancient systems survive into newer ones? Would it be the same? I know even from my limited knowledge and terrible chagrin that something like an old USB key can go obsolete.
But let’s say that technology will change to a point where obsolete technology and information on it can be easily passed onward: and accessed by anyone with any degree of knowledge. Let’s also say that this information will be documented and recorded by other people who want to write biographies or otherwise examine the lives of users from this time.
I mean, it is already happening to an extent. Archivists are tackling the gathering of emails and data from websites and online archives. Sometimes, as an exercise, I think about and look at everything I’ve typed up on Mythic Bios and I imagine someone in the future–or even now–trying to reconstruct what I was like as a person through what I allowed to be on here.
Does Mythic Bios represent my entirety as an individual?
I would have to say no.
It does represent a part of me. It represents my interests, some of my thoughts, and even some feelings but it definitely doesn’t have the full breadth and width of me. Sometimes it feels like a really carefully crafted shell or a layer of created artifice. And I enjoy crafting that artifice almost as much as I enjoy writing things on here, if that makes any sense, at least from a writer’s perspective. Amanda also mentions on her Blog that she doesn’t like to tell everyone about what she is doing, or reading, or listening to all the time because she wants a piece of herself for her and her loved ones alone. I think that is part of it too with me.
I think it’s also that I know I am just as ephemeral as my Blog. I am going to change. I am changing even at this moment. I don’t have it all figured out either because of this fact. There is something really comforting about writing a narrative where you place down the facts–“just the facts” of your interests and goals–with hints of the person shining out between them from time to time. I am, if nothing else, also a tease. 😉
But facts and stories can be so much more orderly–and comforting in that order–than an actual human life can be when you are in the process of experiencing it: especially when your other impulse is to chaos and destruction in not always a super-villain kind of way. So I would be almost comforted if this Blog were to be all that was really left of me, but those human moments of ambiguity–that small amount of embossing–would make me feel a lot better about it.
Now if the Net went down, or suffered a few memory-wipe phases of cataclysm and all everyone had to go by me were the personal things I have written down that would be an entirely different story altogether. I mean, assuming they didn’t think I was crazy, they probably wouldn’t be able to understand me: if only because my handwriting is in ancient Sumerian … also known as messed up scribbling.
Sometimes your hand and pen cannot move as fast as your mind or your imagination.
In some of my more depressed moments, I think all I am going to leave behind are papers and electronic weirdness. Sometimes I think these are the best things about me. I don’t really know just how “inspirational” I actually am when you take the rest of this stuff away. I’m not really doing anything that anyone else can’t do. But maybe it’s just the way that I do it, or that others do it that differentiates us. It’s that mystery of “You-ness” or “I-ness.” I still haven’t solved that mystery yet and you know what? Maybe that’s a good thing: because that means I’ll keep writing and doing what I need to do. I’ll keep going and when I am not angsty or introspective, I’ll just be ad hoc and silly.
And if that’s what comes through, like I said before, I will be more than okay with that: especially if someone else can relate to it.