It’s up to our future selves, or those who live beyond us, to make sense of what’s being saved today: to curate the data and form the stories around it that will give it meaning.
“The more fundamental question is—is user content a right, a treasure, a heritage, a meaningful part of the human condition? And people come down on different sides,” Scott said. “But ultimately, this is not a new self-awareness. You’re just keeping it on a hard drive instead of the old family bible. Your diary is now on a server, instead of underneath your room, where your parents throw it out.”
The Recompiler—”A/S/L?” (2016)
For me, growing up as a weird kid in a conservative Texas suburb in the late 80s and early 90s, text-based online roleplaying games were also how I learned who I was: as a person and as a woman; as someone capable of desire and intimacy; as someone who could embrace both my strength and vulnerability, a unified whole.
As for me, I am, with some frequency, pinged by Foursquare with user-suggested tips for restaurants nearby; often, the tips that come up were ones posted by a deceased friend of mine.
Each time, it’s a pinch–a small, painful reminder that we’ll never again be able to meet up to eat at those places together.