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The Auto-Biography of the Future

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The auto-biography as we know it is gone. It is an artifact from an age when information was only accessable for some and the control over that information was in the hands of just a few. Only at the end of his life would a man (and later, woman) be judged worthy of having their memoir’s published, based on the summation of their life’s work and how many copies a publisher could expect to sell.
Surely, the men and women of the whose auto-biographies we know are are beyond question worthy of the honor – statesmen, freedom fighters, pioneers, great generals, all having achieved something worth remembering. But it is not their great achievements that make the best auto-biographies so well worth reading. Rather it is the story of how they got to be there. The daily triumphs and tragedies of ordinary life that we all experience and help us understand who our hereos really are.
The days of the auto-biography as the privilege of the great and renowned people of the world is coming to an end. In the future, everyone will enjoy the right to document their life, their own daily successes and struggles, and the freedome to share that with all who are willing to listen for as long as our civilization endures.
Not only is this right, but it is practical. The traditional auto-biography is a recollection on ones life after it has been lived. As we age our memory becomes more and more selective, both by choice and by old age. Our memories are clouded by the stories we have invented of ourselves to explain how we arrived at this moment in time from the womb whence we came – a story impossible to remember in its accurate entirety.
Imagine that the greatest scientific mind of the 21st century is born on this day. He or she will have the freedom, from the earliest age, to document the course of their life as it happens, to see as if in real time the evolution of a genius.
This is already happening. As of 2007 50% of people in the world already used cell phones. As the technology becomes less expensive, more of these will be equipped with the digital still and video cameras so many of us already take for granted. Imagine a world in which every single child, from the age they are old enough to read, had the tools at hand to make a video documentary of their life as it happens. The digital media they create can be stored on a piece of plastic the size of a thumb nail and will last for decades, if not longer, preserving their childhood, adolescent and adult lives for posterity.
Imagine! Seeing the world as Gandhi saw it as an eight year old child, how his perception of the world changed as quickly as the world around him. Imagine the depth of clarity it would give generations to come into the great minds of our age. Now imagine the millions of life stories that go by each day without ever being told and the power our society would gain by being able to see an others entire life through their eyes.
Freedom from death, disease and want could be ours to grasp as we realize the potential for this technology to help humanity reach its potential.

Written by Andrew

July 16th, 2009 at 11:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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