I was so fascinated by the timely (indeed, overdue) insights in this book (regarding the Brave New World of Total Recall in which the past -- our personal past -- is ever-present online, warts and all) that I did my own riff on the topics broached by the author in a piece called 'We Regret to Inform You':
Speaking of the author, Viktor was nice enough to 'get back to me' to say that he enjoyed my article, something that I particularly appreciate when I consider how many authors I've written to who have apparently never found time to reciprocate the gesture.
I read and listen to plenty of 'nice' books (intelligently written, interesting, etc.) but every now and then (twice a year, if I'm lucky) I find one that opens up a whole new world of thought for me, a world that I had only dimly glimpsed prior to reading the book in question: "Delete" is one of those books.
I kept wondering while reading it: Why hasn't someone pointed this out before?
No doubt many people have, indeed, broached the general topic in some way (indeed, I myself have written an article imagining a Senate hearing in 2030 in which the sophomoric pasts of presidential cabinet nominees are sarcastically exposed by a hypocritically indignant Senator reading from decades' old chat session transcripts), but certainly no one has ever so lucidly pointed out the perils here -- especially with reference to the uncertain prospects for personal redemption in a world that can no longer put the past behind it, a world, perhaps, in which time can no longer heal all wounds, in which the peaceful river of Lethe is, perhaps, off-limits to humankind for the first time in history....Continua