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Irresponsibility with camera, memory.

One of the things I really want to do is take good photos of the places I go, the buildings I deal with, the plant life, the landscape, the sky. I want to remember how these things look for after I leave. There are so many photos of the people, and I write so much about the events -- what I want my eyes to remember is the lay of the land, the way that building sat right in front of those trees, the way the little mountain was, the rocks, the crack in the sidewalk...

What I'd really love to do, if I were feeling particularly irresponsible and cheery, is take photos of the beats I walk, then put them on Petridish with Google map link complete with satellite photos and exact coordinates. You could find the places I stood, years later, with a GPS and my photos for a guidebook.

... That's what I'd like. A mobile device that knows where it is at all times, GPS and compass in one, complete with camera and upload system. Take photos, tag them with location, date, time, direction, people, keywords, commentary.

In the discussion about memory technology in the Harry Potter universe, there was a comparison between Obliviation (and similar things) and rape -- and the follow-up that rape is more vandalism, desecration, and invasion than it is theft, really. A physical assault is an attack that "takes" feelings of security and safety, yes, but it accomplishes this by creating traumatic memories that override previous experience, rather than actually removing events that had led to the feelings of safety. An Obliviation takes away memories, rather than creating new memories that change emotion.

Tangent much? Yes. Sort of. I've been puzzled by the intense feelings of traumatic violation I get when someone or something has messed with my data. I pride myself on my memory, but I know my good memory is an illusion, carefully crafted by the fact that I keep very detailed records of what I'm doing, where I've been, who I know, and who I am. I keep my memories on my computer. An invasion of my computer is not only an invasion onto a personal body part, but risks damaging my memories. Keep your memories in your shoes.

I read Cyteen too young, I think, because once I'd read it, I started hoarding information about myself -- not quite the way an obsessive and mentally ill person might save old pizza boxes and assorted garbage, but with a disturbing dedication and fervor. I want immortality, but I don't think I'm going to get it in this body. I want to be remembered -- more than that, I want to remember me. I want some girl in the future to be able to look through my memories, look through my eyes, and use where I left off as a point where she can leap into places where I won't be able to reach quite yet, but I can almost see if I stretch hard enough...
Gone away, gone ahead,
Echoes roll unanswered.
Empty, open, dusty, dead.
Why have all the Weyrfolk fled?

Where have dragons gone together
Leaving weyrs to wind and weather,
Setting herdbeasts free of tether;
Gone, our safeguards, gone, but whither?

Have they flown to some new weyr
Where cruel Threads some others fear?
Are they worlds away from here?
Why, oh why the empty weyr?

-- "The Question Song", Anne McCaffrey
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