“Again, to read information is to write it elsewhere” #bigdata

[…] Computers have conflated memory with storage, the ephemeral with the enduring. Rather than storing memories, we now put things “ into memory, ” both consciously and unconsciously. “ Memory ” — computer memory — has become surprisingly permanent. As Matthew Kirschenbaum has argued, our digital traces remain far longer than we suppose. Hard drives fail, but can still be “ read ” by forensic experts (optically, if not mechanically); our ephemeral documents and other “ ambient data ” are written elsewhere — that is “ saved ” — constantly. Again, to read information is to write it elsewhere. At the same time, however, the enduring is also the ephemeral. Not only because even if data storage devices can be read forensically after they fail they still eventually fail, but also because — and more crucially — what is not constantly upgraded or “ migrated ” or both becomes unreadable. As well, our interactions with computers cannot be reduced to the traces we leave behind. The experiences of using — the exact paths of execution — are ephemeral. Information is “ undead ” : neither alive nor dead, neither quite present nor absent” (Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, by Wendy Hui Kyong Chun, The MIT Press, 2011)

Schermata 07-2456486 alle 23.40.22

About Cosimo Accoto

Visiting Scientist at MIT (Boston). Formerly, Partner and VP Innovation at OpenKnowledge http://www.open-knowledge.it/en/ | Books author and coauthor (recently published "Social Mobile Marketing", Egea 2014, 2e) | Digital theorist and international researcher | Analytics industry speaker | @cosimoaccoto | http://www.linkedin.com/in/cosimoaccoto | cosimo.accoto@open-knowledge.it |

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