Digital Forgetting And The Future of The Past: Dis-Membering Social Memory Into Bits And Bytes

    Publikation: Kapitel i bog/rapport/konferenceprocesKonferenceabstrakt i proceedingsForskningpeer review

    Resumé

    The concept of memory invokes the dynamic and self-referential interplay between forgetting and remembering as the basis for the construction of a past aligned to what the future is expected to bring. Conceived of as the construction of sameness into difference, memory is to be seen as the process of filtering singular details of events in order to make them comparable with other events according to gradually emerging categories. Forgetting means dis-membering singularities into categories; re-membering, by contrast, is the construction of an event out of these categories. Thus conceived, forgetting is the rule and remembering is the exception.
    Brought into a societal context, forgetting and remembering can be observed as social phenomena sui generis – social memory - with respect to socially constructed systems of categorization and classification. In particular, the librarian catalogue created for a closed-shelf arrangement is a highly sophisticated and abstract practice of social forgetting. Since books are stored according to size to save shelf-space, the closed-shelf repository can only be navigated by means of the catalogue. If one loses the catalogue, the collection of books turns into noise bereft of any organization. This setup, however, enables a library to manage, in principle, an infinite number of books by relying on abstract classification criteria used for their description and the arrangement of catalogue cards the books are represented by. The books themselves are forgotten. What is remembered, are the rules of cataloguing. In more abstract terms, the more elaborate the classification system, the more details can be filtered out. However, the more elaborate the classification system, the more can be remembered as well. The more we forget, the more we remember. The more we remember, the more we forget.
    Given these considerations, social memory presents itself as a more complex societal structure than concepts of information storage and retrieval would reveal. Propelled by the immense capacities to store data, the ideal of information technologies as a remedy against forgetting seems to be an overstatement considering the fact that digital media are based on the most radical classification possible – the classification of everything and anything into only two classes of 0 and 1. Digital memory is the dis-membrance of singular events into binary digits leading to the counter-intuitive conclusion that the storing of binary-based data itself is a way of forgetting. Re-membrance, in turn, is the computational reconstruction of artefacts composed out of binary digits. Thus conceived, binary-based digital media are very ill-fitted for mnemonic purposes, since, for the first time, the conservation of a communication medium as such is not enough for societal remembering. If we lose the catalogue, the books themselves, if conserved, remain. By contrast, without appropriate computational processing, bits are mere noise devoid of any inherent meaning, which poses a serious threat to the capabilities of future generations to reconstruct the past based on authentic documentation. What we thought was safely stored in our computational silos of knowledge, may have slowly decayed into rotten bits and bytes.
    The concept of memory invokes the dynamic and self-referential interplay between forgetting and remembering as the basis for the construction of a past aligned to what the future is expected to bring. Conceived of as the construction of sameness into difference, memory is to be seen as the process of filtering singular details of events in order to make them comparable with other events according to gradually emerging categories. Forgetting means dis-membering singularities into categories; re-membering, by contrast, is the construction of an event out of these categories. Thus conceived, forgetting is the rule and remembering is the exception.
    Brought into a societal context, forgetting and remembering can be observed as social phenomena sui generis – social memory - with respect to socially constructed systems of categorization and classification. In particular, the librarian catalogue created for a closed-shelf arrangement is a highly sophisticated and abstract practice of social forgetting. Since books are stored according to size to save shelf-space, the closed-shelf repository can only be navigated by means of the catalogue. If one loses the catalogue, the collection of books turns into noise bereft of any organization. This setup, however, enables a library to manage, in principle, an infinite number of books by relying on abstract classification criteria used for their description and the arrangement of catalogue cards the books are represented by. The books themselves are forgotten. What is remembered, are the rules of cataloguing. In more abstract terms, the more elaborate the classification system, the more details can be filtered out. However, the more elaborate the classification system, the more can be remembered as well. The more we forget, the more we remember. The more we remember, the more we forget.
    Given these considerations, social memory presents itself as a more complex societal structure than concepts of information storage and retrieval would reveal. Propelled by the immense capacities to store data, the ideal of information technologies as a remedy against forgetting seems to be an overstatement considering the fact that digital media are based on the most radical classification possible – the classification of everything and anything into only two classes of 0 and 1. Digital memory is the dis-membrance of singular events into binary digits leading to the counter-intuitive conclusion that the storing of binary-based data itself is a way of forgetting. Re-membrance, in turn, is the computational reconstruction of artefacts composed out of binary digits. Thus conceived, binary-based digital media are very ill-fitted for mnemonic purposes, since, for the first time, the conservation of a communication medium as such is not enough for societal remembering. If we lose the catalogue, the books themselves, if conserved, remain. By contrast, without appropriate computational processing, bits are mere noise devoid of any inherent meaning, which poses a serious threat to the capabilities of future generations to reconstruct the past based on authentic documentation. What we thought was safely stored in our computational silos of knowledge, may have slowly decayed into rotten bits and bytes.
    SprogEngelsk
    Titel[Abstract Booklet for] The workshop 'Digital Memory' Ispra 16th and 17th January 2014
    RedaktørerAngela Pereira, Alessia Ghezzi, Estefania Moreno
    Udgivelses stedBelgien
    ForlagEuropean Commission
    Dato2015
    Sider26-27
    ISBN (Trykt)9789279351013
    StatusUdgivet - 2015
    BegivenhedWorkshop on “Digital Memory” - Ispra, Italien
    Varighed: 16 jan. 201417 jan. 2014
    https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/

    Workshop

    WorkshopWorkshop on “Digital Memory”
    LandItalien
    ByIspra
    Periode16/01/201417/01/2014
    Internetadresse
    NavnJCR Science for Policy Report
    NummerEUR 26446 EN
    ISSN1831-9424

    Citer dette

    Marton, A. (2015). Digital Forgetting And The Future of The Past: Dis-Membering Social Memory Into Bits And Bytes. I A. Pereira, A. Ghezzi, & E. Moreno (red.), [Abstract Booklet for] The workshop 'Digital Memory' Ispra 16th and 17th January 2014 (s. 26-27). Belgien : European Commission. JCR Science for Policy Report, Nr. EUR 26446 EN
    Marton, Attila. / Digital Forgetting And The Future of The Past : Dis-Membering Social Memory Into Bits And Bytes. [Abstract Booklet for] The workshop 'Digital Memory' Ispra 16th and 17th January 2014. red. / Angela Pereira ; Alessia Ghezzi ; Estefania Moreno. Belgien : European Commission, 2015. s. 26-27 (JCR Science for Policy Report; Nr. EUR 26446 EN).
    @inbook{a584abc160d1442ab9c896e262cc8795,
    title = "Digital Forgetting And The Future of The Past: Dis-Membering Social Memory Into Bits And Bytes",
    abstract = "The concept of memory invokes the dynamic and self-referential interplay between forgetting and remembering as the basis for the construction of a past aligned to what the future is expected to bring. Conceived of as the construction of sameness into difference, memory is to be seen as the process of filtering singular details of events in order to make them comparable with other events according to gradually emerging categories. Forgetting means dis-membering singularities into categories; re-membering, by contrast, is the construction of an event out of these categories. Thus conceived, forgetting is the rule and remembering is the exception.Brought into a societal context, forgetting and remembering can be observed as social phenomena sui generis – social memory - with respect to socially constructed systems of categorization and classification. In particular, the librarian catalogue created for a closed-shelf arrangement is a highly sophisticated and abstract practice of social forgetting. Since books are stored according to size to save shelf-space, the closed-shelf repository can only be navigated by means of the catalogue. If one loses the catalogue, the collection of books turns into noise bereft of any organization. This setup, however, enables a library to manage, in principle, an infinite number of books by relying on abstract classification criteria used for their description and the arrangement of catalogue cards the books are represented by. The books themselves are forgotten. What is remembered, are the rules of cataloguing. In more abstract terms, the more elaborate the classification system, the more details can be filtered out. However, the more elaborate the classification system, the more can be remembered as well. The more we forget, the more we remember. The more we remember, the more we forget.Given these considerations, social memory presents itself as a more complex societal structure than concepts of information storage and retrieval would reveal. Propelled by the immense capacities to store data, the ideal of information technologies as a remedy against forgetting seems to be an overstatement considering the fact that digital media are based on the most radical classification possible – the classification of everything and anything into only two classes of 0 and 1. Digital memory is the dis-membrance of singular events into binary digits leading to the counter-intuitive conclusion that the storing of binary-based data itself is a way of forgetting. Re-membrance, in turn, is the computational reconstruction of artefacts composed out of binary digits. Thus conceived, binary-based digital media are very ill-fitted for mnemonic purposes, since, for the first time, the conservation of a communication medium as such is not enough for societal remembering. If we lose the catalogue, the books themselves, if conserved, remain. By contrast, without appropriate computational processing, bits are mere noise devoid of any inherent meaning, which poses a serious threat to the capabilities of future generations to reconstruct the past based on authentic documentation. What we thought was safely stored in our computational silos of knowledge, may have slowly decayed into rotten bits and bytes.",
    author = "Attila Marton",
    year = "2015",
    language = "English",
    isbn = "9789279351013",
    pages = "26--27",
    editor = "Angela Pereira and Alessia Ghezzi and Estefania Moreno",
    booktitle = "[Abstract Booklet for] The workshop 'Digital Memory' Ispra 16th and 17th January 2014",
    publisher = "European Commission",
    address = "Belgium",

    }

    Marton, A 2015, Digital Forgetting And The Future of The Past: Dis-Membering Social Memory Into Bits And Bytes. i A Pereira, A Ghezzi & E Moreno (red), [Abstract Booklet for] The workshop 'Digital Memory' Ispra 16th and 17th January 2014. European Commission, Belgien , JCR Science for Policy Report, nr. EUR 26446 EN, s. 26-27, Workshop on “Digital Memory”, Ispra, Italien, 16/01/2014.

    Digital Forgetting And The Future of The Past : Dis-Membering Social Memory Into Bits And Bytes. / Marton, Attila.

    [Abstract Booklet for] The workshop 'Digital Memory' Ispra 16th and 17th January 2014. red. / Angela Pereira; Alessia Ghezzi; Estefania Moreno. Belgien : European Commission, 2015. s. 26-27.

    Publikation: Kapitel i bog/rapport/konferenceprocesKonferenceabstrakt i proceedingsForskningpeer review

    TY - ABST

    T1 - Digital Forgetting And The Future of The Past

    T2 - Dis-Membering Social Memory Into Bits And Bytes

    AU - Marton,Attila

    PY - 2015

    Y1 - 2015

    N2 - The concept of memory invokes the dynamic and self-referential interplay between forgetting and remembering as the basis for the construction of a past aligned to what the future is expected to bring. Conceived of as the construction of sameness into difference, memory is to be seen as the process of filtering singular details of events in order to make them comparable with other events according to gradually emerging categories. Forgetting means dis-membering singularities into categories; re-membering, by contrast, is the construction of an event out of these categories. Thus conceived, forgetting is the rule and remembering is the exception.Brought into a societal context, forgetting and remembering can be observed as social phenomena sui generis – social memory - with respect to socially constructed systems of categorization and classification. In particular, the librarian catalogue created for a closed-shelf arrangement is a highly sophisticated and abstract practice of social forgetting. Since books are stored according to size to save shelf-space, the closed-shelf repository can only be navigated by means of the catalogue. If one loses the catalogue, the collection of books turns into noise bereft of any organization. This setup, however, enables a library to manage, in principle, an infinite number of books by relying on abstract classification criteria used for their description and the arrangement of catalogue cards the books are represented by. The books themselves are forgotten. What is remembered, are the rules of cataloguing. In more abstract terms, the more elaborate the classification system, the more details can be filtered out. However, the more elaborate the classification system, the more can be remembered as well. The more we forget, the more we remember. The more we remember, the more we forget.Given these considerations, social memory presents itself as a more complex societal structure than concepts of information storage and retrieval would reveal. Propelled by the immense capacities to store data, the ideal of information technologies as a remedy against forgetting seems to be an overstatement considering the fact that digital media are based on the most radical classification possible – the classification of everything and anything into only two classes of 0 and 1. Digital memory is the dis-membrance of singular events into binary digits leading to the counter-intuitive conclusion that the storing of binary-based data itself is a way of forgetting. Re-membrance, in turn, is the computational reconstruction of artefacts composed out of binary digits. Thus conceived, binary-based digital media are very ill-fitted for mnemonic purposes, since, for the first time, the conservation of a communication medium as such is not enough for societal remembering. If we lose the catalogue, the books themselves, if conserved, remain. By contrast, without appropriate computational processing, bits are mere noise devoid of any inherent meaning, which poses a serious threat to the capabilities of future generations to reconstruct the past based on authentic documentation. What we thought was safely stored in our computational silos of knowledge, may have slowly decayed into rotten bits and bytes.

    AB - The concept of memory invokes the dynamic and self-referential interplay between forgetting and remembering as the basis for the construction of a past aligned to what the future is expected to bring. Conceived of as the construction of sameness into difference, memory is to be seen as the process of filtering singular details of events in order to make them comparable with other events according to gradually emerging categories. Forgetting means dis-membering singularities into categories; re-membering, by contrast, is the construction of an event out of these categories. Thus conceived, forgetting is the rule and remembering is the exception.Brought into a societal context, forgetting and remembering can be observed as social phenomena sui generis – social memory - with respect to socially constructed systems of categorization and classification. In particular, the librarian catalogue created for a closed-shelf arrangement is a highly sophisticated and abstract practice of social forgetting. Since books are stored according to size to save shelf-space, the closed-shelf repository can only be navigated by means of the catalogue. If one loses the catalogue, the collection of books turns into noise bereft of any organization. This setup, however, enables a library to manage, in principle, an infinite number of books by relying on abstract classification criteria used for their description and the arrangement of catalogue cards the books are represented by. The books themselves are forgotten. What is remembered, are the rules of cataloguing. In more abstract terms, the more elaborate the classification system, the more details can be filtered out. However, the more elaborate the classification system, the more can be remembered as well. The more we forget, the more we remember. The more we remember, the more we forget.Given these considerations, social memory presents itself as a more complex societal structure than concepts of information storage and retrieval would reveal. Propelled by the immense capacities to store data, the ideal of information technologies as a remedy against forgetting seems to be an overstatement considering the fact that digital media are based on the most radical classification possible – the classification of everything and anything into only two classes of 0 and 1. Digital memory is the dis-membrance of singular events into binary digits leading to the counter-intuitive conclusion that the storing of binary-based data itself is a way of forgetting. Re-membrance, in turn, is the computational reconstruction of artefacts composed out of binary digits. Thus conceived, binary-based digital media are very ill-fitted for mnemonic purposes, since, for the first time, the conservation of a communication medium as such is not enough for societal remembering. If we lose the catalogue, the books themselves, if conserved, remain. By contrast, without appropriate computational processing, bits are mere noise devoid of any inherent meaning, which poses a serious threat to the capabilities of future generations to reconstruct the past based on authentic documentation. What we thought was safely stored in our computational silos of knowledge, may have slowly decayed into rotten bits and bytes.

    M3 - Conference abstract in proceedings

    SN - 9789279351013

    SP - 26

    EP - 27

    BT - [Abstract Booklet for] The workshop 'Digital Memory' Ispra 16th and 17th January 2014

    PB - European Commission

    CY - Belgien

    ER -

    Marton A. Digital Forgetting And The Future of The Past: Dis-Membering Social Memory Into Bits And Bytes. I Pereira A, Ghezzi A, Moreno E, red., [Abstract Booklet for] The workshop 'Digital Memory' Ispra 16th and 17th January 2014. Belgien : European Commission. 2015. s. 26-27. (JCR Science for Policy Report; Nr. EUR 26446 EN).