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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Feel About Recording Your Entire Life? 379

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-ask-for-your-file dept.
skade88 writes "As I get older, I find the little details of my life slip away from my memory after years and decades pass. I find myself wishing I had a way to record at least sound and video of my entire life. It would be nice to be able to go back and see what I was like when I was younger without the fog of memory clouding my view of the past. It would be cool to share with my boy friend and future kids how I was when I was younger by just showing them video from my life. Do y'all know of any good way to do this? I would settle for recording what I see from a first person point of view. There is also concerns that range beyond the technical. If I were to record my entire life, that would mean also recording other people, when they are interacting with me on a daily basis. What sort of privacy laws pertain to this? Even without laws, would others act differently around me because they were being recorded with my life record? How would it make you feel if your friend or family member did this?"
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Ask Slashdot: How Would You Feel About Recording Your Entire Life?

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  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jittles (1613415) on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:52PM (#43009741)
    If it were a family member? I'd probably break their recording device. Seriously. And if it were a friend, I'd probably be hesitant to hang out with them. The fog of memory is a good thing, usually. It helps you to remember the things you really enjoy about your friends and family, and forget the things that really drive you nuts. Also consider the legal implications for yourself if you have such a recording device. If you ever are suspected of a crime, or investigated, sued, or anything else, they will subpoena the video / audio from this device. It could be very detrimental to your case, and even used out of context against you. There is no reason to record every second of your life. When would you ever listen to your entire life again? Just do what most people do. Record those precious moments that you know you're going to have, and keep a journal about the daily/weekly/monthly things that you think are significant to you at that time.
  • dreams (Score:5, Insightful)

    by j00r0m4nc3r (959816) on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:53PM (#43009751)
    fuck my life, i want to record my dreams
  • bad idea (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sperbels (1008585) on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:53PM (#43009755)

    would others act differently around me because they were being recorded with my life record? How would it make you feel if your friend or family member did this?"

    Yep, I know I would. I wouldn't want to be around you, and I'd be extremely formal and business-only when talking to you. If a friend or family member did this I'd be extremely annoyed with them.

  • by holophrastic (221104) on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:57PM (#43009781)

    ...it's not a bad thing. It's not detrimental. The skill to forget is of extreme importance. You'll find that many serious psychological disorders stem from not being able to forget.

    Consider modern-day home-security companies. "The comfort of knowing that you're safe." You'll find hundreds of companies offering you the ability to have cameras recording your front door, and being able to watch the video from your phone wherever you are.

    Let's be very clear. "Feeling safe" doesn't mean that I get to watch my house all day every day. It means that I don't need to watch my house at all. I have no interest in viewing those cameras while I'm away.

    As for your boy friend, and your future young goats, no one wanted to see your vacation slides last century. No one will want to watch your daily videos this century. It's that simple.

    And, to be clear, no, I don't want you to record me.

  • Tons of ways (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thetoadwarrior (1268702) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:06PM (#43009889) Homepage
    Even in the "old" days we did it with camcorders, cameras and cassette recorders. You get that all in phones, portable games consoles or a laptop now. I would use something like google glass though. You'll look stupid, it's in the cloud and can disappear at any time and google is an advertising company so you'll no doubt be tracked and monetized.
  • Re:instant replay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FoolishBluntman (880780) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:07PM (#43009899)

    It would sure help with arguments with my wife

    Yes, you could win them all and be divorced in no time.

  • by JeanCroix (99825) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:11PM (#43009937) Journal
    My did got a VHS camcorder in the 1980s and spent a significant amount of time and money on tapes to record as much as he could of my and my sisters' significant life events - proms, sports, graduations, weddings, etc. To this day, those VHS tapes sit there decaying, never watched. It seems like everyone is too busy living their current lives and experiencing the present to have time to start delving into even the "important" moments of the past. Photos? Sure. Video? Hasn't happened yet. Maybe I'll be proven wrong some day.
  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:17PM (#43009987) Journal

    You'll find that many serious psychological disorders stem from not being able to forget.

    Okay. List them. "Serious psychological disorders"? Go ahead and list them out of the DSMIV or whatever you can find. I'd be curious because GMail and GChat have made my life a thousand times better with their impeccable recording and recall abilities. "Remember when I suggested The Naked and Famous to you like three years ago? Oh, you don't? That's funny, this e-mail says otherwise."

    As for your boy friend, and your future young goats, no one wanted to see your vacation slides last century. No one will want to watch your daily videos this century. It's that simple.

    That's where you're wrong or it's impossible to prove that no one will ever want to see it. I would absolutely love to see the world through my grandfather's eyes.

    One time I went to a thrift store and they had random family effects. One of them was this ancient black leather flip book with about 50 black and white plate photographs in it and as I flipped through them I saw settlers on the plains. Standing next to Native Americans. Standing next to mud huts that they had cut with sod. Standing next to oxen tied to a manual plow. On and on they went. The thrift store had priced it at $54. I said, "When is this from?" and the guy shrugged. "What were the names of these people?" and the guy shrugged. I offered him $20 for it and he said the photos were worth more than a dollar a piece. So I carefully inspected it and left it. I thought about it for a week and stopped back in to actually shell out $54 and it was gone. I was kind of glad it was gone, I don't need more crap in my room ... but it was something unique and interesting to me.

    I think that the History Channel would be a thousand times better if they just did a two hour special on what a laborer's life was like in Egypt or Babylon or Inca civilizations or any ancient world. They would have to edit it but I would find even the mundane things like how they prepared their meals to be interesting.

    So, I think you're wrong. And I think that those handful of black and white photos have expanded to stacks of color photos and now long videos of family gatherings from VHS to CCD. Is it really that absurd to think that someday your offspring will wonder what life is like? Or 200 years from now any random person just curious about life was like in our time?

    Yes, it is a bit narcissistic to select yourself and to think that your immediate friends and family want to sit through 24 hours of your boring life. Not necessarily true, however, if you consider it from a downstreamer's point of view. Ideally you would record your life and disallow access to it until you're dead.

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:23PM (#43010037)

    What an incredibly short sighted answer, a shameful act that it was mod'd anything positive.

    I use to run a creative labs cheap-o mic that happen to pic up the entire room, ran this fucker all through high school occasionally making music but more often then not enjoying the memories. There was no special moment it was turned on, it just was... Now 10 years later it's a pretty amazing thing to go back and listen to, same with my webcam took any picture I could with the 6 feet of USB cord I was provided. You have no idea how much I wish I had access to the recordning devices and cameras we have today, you have no notion of how amazing it is to go back and listen to what were mundane conversations with people who may or may not be alive who may or may not be locatable... it's an incredible thing and I am eternally grateful I have these files.

    If you want to sit around and wait for just the "kodak moments" well buddy you aren't going to know half the shit that was really going decades past.

  • Re:Resources (Score:3, Insightful)

    by turkeydance (1266624) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:35PM (#43010139)
    1. some folks see the camera/microphone and 'clam up': stage fright. 2. other people are very protective of their words/image (politicians, preachers, bloggers). 3. as for me, no. i've been recorded. the result was factual and awful.
  • Re:Seriously? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Geste (527302) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:00PM (#43010327)

    @jittles:"The fog of memory is a good thing, usually. It helps you to remember the things you really enjoy about your friends and family, and forget the things that really drive you nuts."

    Wonderfully put. I have a sneaking suspicion that the OP is just going through a brief bout of meteor envy, but the idea seems like a terrible one. I have many pictures of friends and family that I enjoy looking at, but none of them involve someone sitting on the toilet, puking up Jagermeister or getting a boil lanced.

    Oh, and +50 to the gent who said forget my life, let me record my dreams. I am much smarter, more creative and funnier when I finally make it to REM-land. I *really* wish that technology existed

    Jim

    'Tis the exceptional fellow who lies awake at night thinking of his successes.

  • by SpectreBlofeld (886224) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:06PM (#43010371)

    Counterargument: what if you recorded the worst-case scenario? Accidentally viewing that video of your child being hit by a car could be devastating. And I can see too many people obsessing over re-watching those 'happy memories' (now gone sour) of ex-girl-or-boy-friends. This latter point - and many other interesting ones regarding this idea taken to an extreme - were covered in the quite decent mid-90's quasi-cyberpunk film 'Strange Days'.

    For those who haven't seen the film (no real spoilers here, I'm describing something that happens in the first 15 minutes): the film describes a future in which a banned underground technology allows the direct recording of one's memories. The main character (the perennial 'loser' type) is a guy who illegally sells recorded memories on the black market. He can never emotionally get over the fact that his bitchy ex-girlfriend dumped him because he constantly sits alone in his apartment replaying memories of the good times, when he and she went rollerskating, or were bumpin' uglies.

    Part of moving on to the next event in your life involves not necessarily forgetting the past, but sort of 'shelving it' and not replaying it over and over. Wounds will always be fresh in your mind if you have an instant replay button.

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:13PM (#43010425)

    I think the major problem with "recording everything" is the fact that you can't really compress it time-wise. In order for you (or any single person) to review X years of footage, you must spend X years of time. If you spend any less time then you must fast-forward or skip segments, thus rendering the recording of those parts of your life irrelevant and reducing the total recording into much of what you would have had anyway. If anything, you should randomly record a fraction of the non-special moments (to get an adequate sampling of the typical younger you) and be prepared to record the "Kodak moments" if you think there is sufficient possibility of something special happening. Some of those random samplings would also probably capture unexpected Kodak moments as well. However, recording everything isn't likely to be as useful.

    Of course, I have ignored the possibility of watching/listening to the recordings in parallel with other tasks in your life. In that case, especially if you watched it nonstop, it would be like watching a video of yourself time-shifted by some number of months or years in latency. I think that might drive one mad.

  • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by thedonger (1317951) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:26PM (#43010519)

    Wonderfully put. I have a sneaking suspicion that the OP is just going through a brief bout of meteor envy, but the idea seems like a terrible one. I have many pictures of friends and family that I enjoy looking at, but none of them involve someone sitting on the toilet, puking up Jagermeister or getting a boil lanced.

    Those would be far more interesting than the minimum 75% of nothing one would record. Reality TV is popular because it is nothing like reality.

  • Re:Google Glass ad (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Spugglefink (1041680) on Monday February 25, 2013 @11:54PM (#43011345)

    Some things, just need to be forgotten.

    Everything between 1980 and 2000 would be a good start. I'm so glad the stuff from my BBS days isn't part of the public memory. Usenet is bad enough.

  • Re:Resources (Score:4, Insightful)

    by KingMotley (944240) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @12:15AM (#43011471) Journal

    I'm sure this technology would get banned and made illegal before it every really took off. I mean, I could review when I was peeing when I was 13. That right there, is kiddie porn, and I need to be protected from watching my 13 year old self's private bits.

  • Re:Resources (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wSLACKWAREorf.net minus distro> on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @01:47AM (#43011821)

    I'm sure this technology would get banned and made illegal before it every really took off. I mean, I could review when I was peeing when I was 13. That right there, is kiddie porn, and I need to be protected from watching my 13 year old self's private bits.

    Nah. Only ones that upload to private servers will be banned - ones that use Google (e.g., Google Glass, say), will not only be allowed, they'd probably be encouraged.

    After all, you may be recording your whole life, but you're also recording everyone else's lives as well. A crime happen? Well just access everyone's recorded from the area and use them to track the perp. Users who want to be walking CCTVs - now that's big brother. And everyone wants to wear one willingly.

    Hell, try to convince everyone to turn away and you'll find someone curious enough to look. Trips to those shady stores or verifying if your teen really was where they said they were, or verifying alibis have suddenly turned a lot easier.

  • Re:Resources (Score:4, Insightful)

    by swilver (617741) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @07:00AM (#43012761)

    IMHO, life is too short to spend (part of) it reliving old memories.

Saliva causes cancer, but only if swallowed in small amounts over a long period of time. -- George Carlin

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