What is the importance that forgetting has played throughout human history? What will be the effects on society, relationships and humanity now that so many aspects of our lives are digitally preserved? Viktor Mayer-Schönberger author of “Delete: The Virtue Of Forgetting In The Digital Age,” and our guest in this archive edition of Radio Curious, has some insight into these questions. He argues that the capacity for eternal memory can have unanticipated and often unwanted consequences. The potentially humiliating content on Facebook forever enshrined in cyberspace and Google’s search memory of the content and time of our all online searches may in the future reveal portions of our past we have entirely forgotten and wished everyone else had too.
In this two part archive edition of Radio Curious with Viktor Mayer-Schönberger we explore some of the ways in which our personal information, data, conversations and experiences are forgotten by us as individuals. We also consider the future potential effects on society of digitally preserved information, as well as the consequences of remembering what is sometimes best forgotten.
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger spoke with us by phone from his then-home in Singapore on January 4th 2010 and began part one of our conversation by describing how the digital age is shifting the brain’s balance between remembering and forgetting.
The book Viktor Mayer-Schönberger recommends is “Collected Fictions,” by Jorge Luis Borges. The film he recommends is “The Lives Of Others,” directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.
Click here to listen to part one or on the media player below.