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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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  • Resources (Score:5, Informative)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <[moc.liamg] [ta] [nhojovadle]> on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:49PM (#43009717) Journal
    You might look into Vannevar Bush's efforts [wikipedia.org] on the memex machine [wikipedia.org] as well as the follow on to him, Gordon Bell [wikipedia.org] and his MyLifeBits [wikipedia.org]. This was discussed on Slashdot in 2007 [slashdot.org].

    Google's Glass [google.com] might one day accomplish what you're asking. I saw a kickstarter about facebook glasses that recorded but I'm not going to link to that as I don't think it was very ... well received?

    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?

    So personally, I would use this only on my property and public property. And then I would separate the data between data from the property I was on and public property and just be mindful if I was sharing that the people in the public property video did not give their consent to be recorded. I think this means different things in different states so if you would tell us your state/commonwealth you could probably get better information. Personally, people would act weird if they knew they were being recorded and since it was for my own personal records and on public property I wouldn't see how it would come to light that I own it let alone archive it.

    If you wanted to be absolutely respectful of other people I would suggest only using it on your property and then bringing a stack of waivers with you for people to sign before you started recording. Good luck!

    • by MrEricSir (398214)

      I'd also recommend checking out the documentary film We Live in Public [wikipedia.org]. It covers Josh Harris' unusual livestreaming projects in the 90's.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by turkeydance (1266624)
      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.
    • by Dishevel (1105119) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:51PM (#43010269)

      A large part of our lives are recorded.
      unless you live in the UK where most of your life is recorded.

      • A large part of our lives are recorded. unless you live in the UK where most of your life is recorded.

        Agreed on both counts. I recently did a stint working for the police as a temp at the property and evidence warehouse. As one can understand, it is in no one's interest (besides the perpetrator, of course) for evidence to go missing. Therefore there are rigorous methods of accounting. But as a last step the ENTIRE WAREHOUSE (save the restrooms) are under video surveillance.

    • by shoemilk (1008173)
      Or, without bothering with all of that, you can spend $11 on this [amazon.com] and you don't have to worry about any of that crap. Plus, your kiddies and BFFs can see what you felt and what you were like not just what you did. And as an added bonus, if you get what I linked to, it comes with cute butterflies!
    • 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.

  • Google Glass ad (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:51PM (#43009727)

    The conspiracy nut in me says this is a not so subtle Google Glass ad.

  • by alen (225700) on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:51PM (#43009731)

    At some point after you die someone will throw the hard copy in the trash and delete the digital to make room for porn

    • by h3llfish (663057)
      You would not be asking what the point was if a worst-case scenario involving your child went down, and video of the event was nearly instantly uploaded to remote servers. You could stick with GPS only, but don't you think you'd have a better shot at the most favorable possible outcome if you had video, too? Or even if you couldn't change the outcome of events in any way, the video of your child's life could very easy go from trivial to one of your most treasured possessions, heaven forbid.
      • 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.

      • "You would not be asking what the point was if a worst-case scenario involving your child went down, and video of the event was nearly instantly uploaded to remote servers."

        Great. But imagine how expensive this would be today. Even at low resolution, one full day would take up Gigabytes. But I suppose if you can afford to buy a 1TB hard drive every year, you could maybe swing it. Maybe.

    • What if her life involves a decent amount of porn?
  • 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.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      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

      • 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.

      • Fun idea: Feed all your recordings to a speech-to-text engine. Be able to skim through it quickly and play back anything that seems interesting. Or CTRL+F for specific keyphrases you remember to access specific moments quickly.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Geste (527302)

      @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.

      O

      • 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.

  • 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.

    • 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.

      • by Smauler (915644)

        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.

        Yup... good luck with that. No one knows what a laborer's life was like in Egypt or Babylon, and there is no way of knowing, either. We can find out what their diet was approximately, a

      • by muridae (966931) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:13PM (#43010423)

        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

        PTSD.

      • I've given you a conclusion. If you want it again from a different source, either do your own research, or pay me to do it for you.

      • by shoemilk (1008173)

        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."

        Thank you for proving the OP's post. It seems you suffer from self-righteous assholism. I would look into counseling.

        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. [...] ... but it was something unique and interesting to me.

        [...]

        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?

        The only problem is, those videos will be just as revealing as those photos were. Just because something moves doesn't mean you'll glean insight. something like this [slashdot.org] is so much better, and the best thing is, you can find something like that [amazon.com] in the time period in which you're interested.

      • by eulernet (1132389)

        Okay. List them. "Serious psychological disorders"? Go ahead and list them out of the DSMIV or whatever you can find.

        In fact, the most difficult moments of our life are the moments that define us, and we tend to forcefully forget them.
        As we force ourselves to forget them, these memories appear indirectly, this is a well known process in psychology: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denial [wikipedia.org]

        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."

        I think you are misunderstanding what memory is about.
        Memory is not only about factual data, which are pretty useless, but mostly about emotions.
        The current yourself has been built only a little bit by your accumulated knowledge, but heavily

    • by lobiusmoop (305328) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:35PM (#43010133) Homepage

      Very much agree with this. Recently watched a program called The Boy Who Can't Forget [channel4.com] that looks at this. They interviewed Jill Price [wikipedia.org] who suffers from hyperthymesia; she talks about the trauma she suffers because of it (the pain of never being able to forget your mistakes particularly).

    • by a_hanso (1891616)

      Let's be very clear.

      Obama?

      • Oh cool; is that what he says? He probably heard me a while back, and thought me clever. Good for him: recognizing such eloquence.

        (:

    • by gmuslera (3436)

      Taking out the "editor" of our memory (ourselves) could have negative effects, even if seem rational to take out some bias (i.e. the hindsight one [wikipedia.org]). Also, a lot of the magic on life could vanish if you understand all the real factors that made you like someone or something.

      Also, your life last long time usually, having a record of what everyone does could be wanted to quasi-totalitarian regimes that you could face in some moment of your life (like the current one) forcing vendors to have a govenrment backd

  • by arf_barf (639612) on Monday February 25, 2013 @07:58PM (#43009785)

    A while back I saw an episode of Through The Wormhole that showcased just that. A professor and couple of students were recording snapshots of their lives for the last 3 years. Snapshots, because that's how our memory works and a picture is all we need to remember things and of course you would run into storage issues with 24/7 video recording...

  • by Anderson Council (1096781) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:00PM (#43009805)
    So maybe take it for what it's worth. I'm a bit of a tin-foil hat wearing type.

    I understand exactly what you're thinking about here, but I'm a huge fan of not second-guessing the universe too much. I have such wonderful memories of my own youth...all seen through the rose coloured lens that is time, and frankly I suspect my memories are better than the real thing was. Better the only record I can muster is my own rose-tinted view of things. Every once in a while I remember the excessive dumb-assery that accompanied the great memories and shudder. I don't need a record of that.

    Thus why I don't like recording anything to begin with. If it's worth remembering, you'll remember. If not, who cares. Nothing we do today will change the fact that in five billion years this planet will be a burnt cinder hurtling through cold space...yeah, that VHS recording of my first child's birth is really something to cherish. Actually, it's pretty freaking gross and pollutes the otherwise overwhelming emotion I can remember from that day. It's like I was there.

    On the upside, I leave little evidence for others to use against me later ;). One person's way to remember the good times is another person's ammunition to strike at you with when you're down.

    --
    ~AC

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:01PM (#43009821)

    A few years ago, I started keeping a very detailed journal. It wasn't long before I came to the conclusion that a perfect memory, or a near perfect memory is generally a bad idea. You begin to live in the past, you begin using the information in ways it shouldn't be used, as evidence, as weapons, as a way to obsess about events, mistakes, ways you were wronged... It keeps you from forgetting things that should be forgotten and keeps you from forgiving and moving on. Even the good memories can be used to take you to daek places. This is why I no longer keep a journal and I can only imagine a perfectly recorded life would be that much worse. Of course, everyone is different, that's just how I am and I just caution you to be careful what you wish for.

    • You've said it so well. There are things worth forgetting, things worth remembering, and details to leave behind. I could see recording big events. I could even see recording some little things or your thoughts on current events. But not everything. While the poster may want to record everything, I wouldn't, 50, 100 or more years down the road, want to know every little detail. It would start to become very dull, very quickly and I'd likely shut it off. I'd even venture that if the poster views his v
  • Journal (Score:3, Informative)

    by guantamanera (751262) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:02PM (#43009833)
    I been writting a journal since age 12, and all I been using is pen and paper. Going through the pages is faster than rewinding with a digital device. When you read through memorable moment many years later you will notice the the memories will flood back in, and even the smells of the moment will make it back. You don't even have to read the whole to thing you wrotem just a few snipets and your brain will fill in the blanks. Also written journals are more collectible than digital files, so if your family does not read it after you pass some stranger will.
    • by shoemilk (1008173)
      Why isn't this modded up? Why the obsession with video recording? A video doesn't show what you were like, it shows what you did. A cheap $50 video camera is good enough for that. Open it up and start recording random bits of your day and then write about it. That will show whoever so much more than a 8,760 hour loop of jerky footage that has no meaning.
  • .. someone else will have to be listening to it all. (not you)
  • 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.
  • As I get older, I find the little details of my life slip away from my memory 15 minutes after something happens

    Fixed that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:08PM (#43009905)

    This kind of technology is considered in UK Channel 4's excellent series Black Mirror in an episode called An Entire History of You [wikipedia.org]. It looks at the ups, the downs, and the irritating social faux pas that will certainly emerge if we have such a technology. Highly recommended.

  • by Overzeetop (214511) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:09PM (#43009917) Journal

    Two reasons:

    First, I like to remember my life the way I remember it - not from some video recording. It just seems cold and impersonal - nothing can capture what I was thinking and feeling at those moments.
    Second, oh my God it would be boring. There is so much down time, so much wasted space, so much mundane. Have you ever heard someone singing with headphones on - live? Have you ever compared that to the final, fully produced version? I don't care how good a singer you are (and I know some very, very good singers) - there is no may it will measure up.

    • First, I like to remember my life the way I remember it - not from some video recording.

      Amen!
      My wife and I absolutely forbid anyone from having a video camera at our wedding. It always seemed that when people watched the videos they always noticed things that went wrong (ex: someone not standing in the right place). As far as we remember, our wedding was perfect.

  • 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 swillden (191260)

      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.

      I think that's largely a limitation of the technology.

      Suppose all of that video was on-line and searchable (by the person who recorded it). Even better, suppose you had a voice-control interface and that it was smart enough to understand the context of events. What if you could say, "Show me the first time I met so-and-so", or "Generate a video of clips of my sister scoring in school basketball games" or "plot me a graph over time of the amount of time I spend reading slashdot", or "Show me the commands I

      • Suppose all of that video was on-line and searchable (by the person who recorded it).

        Plus anyone else who wanted to see it....

        Or are you really stupid enough to think that you could store such a thing online in such a way that NOONE could get access to it but you?

        The first question you need to be asking about any such recording of your life and times is:

        Would it be a good idea to record this if CrimsonAvenger [or Julian Assange, or anyone else] is going to have access to it?

        MY personal feeling is that

    • Same here. My wife insisted on tons of pictures and films being taken early on in our marriage and the birth of our first kid. Over 4gig worth of pictures alone. There is no nightmare like having a partner going through a major freak out over a dying hard drive. And, yes, she hasn't gone through a damned one of the pictures or video and added any context to any of them.

      If I were going to record my life for posterity, I would look at creating a blog with picture and video entries. One that I host on my

  • skade88 writes "As I get older, ...

    isn't it a little late to think about it at 88?

  • When I am old and decrepit, I would like to look back fondly through my revisionist memory and think of the good times - whether I had them or not.

    As my grandmother once said, "Don't confuse me with facts - I know what the truth is."

    • by vux984 (928602)

      As my grandmother once said, "Don't confuse me with facts - I know what the truth is."

      I think your Grandmother is setting the school curriculum too. Or at least someone who lives by her advice.

  • where would you keep it?

    Documenting your entire life sounds interesting until you realize you could spend the entire REST OF YOUR LIFE reviewing it recursively.
    To me, that sounds like a dumb proposition. Or perhaps incredibly egotistical. I might've been interested in a few interesting things my late mother did, but honestly, I prefer her description of it with her interpretation and memory. I wouldn't want to even see what happened, as that would ruin it.

    However, some folks have set up webcams in their hou

  • St Peter will have all the recording you need...

  • One of the best things about growing up is being able to forget (or deny) what an idiot you were when you were younger. Surely, our mistakes make us what we are today, yet people persist in judging others by the mistakes which were made and not what someone may have become after having committed them. We too often presume a person *is* the mistakes of their past and that a person can never be more than he is today. What a pathetic way of seeing things... but then again, most people see things through the

  • by cervesaebraciator (2352888) on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:30PM (#43010093)

    When I travel, I almost never take pictures. This is probably an over-correction on my part, but I cannot get over the way so many spend so much time taking pictures that they never pay attention to where they are, to what they're doing. If too much effort is given to it, the need to record everything can overcome the very experiences one wishes to record. The best things cannot be captured in stills or in video, but even if one is there it may be missed if one neglects the world for the sake of a 1.5" LCD on the back of a camera.

    For the one who wishes to record everything, I would wonder if he has fully considered why. I would be concerned that it derives from an unaddressed discomfort with mortality and this inhibits present unhappiness. The one who records everything is anxious about the future, lest he should then forget or be forgotten in it. When he reviews the past, he forgets the very moment he lives in. Either way, the present, the only thing we can really do anything about and the only moment in which we can find happiness, is neglected.

    I can imagine a handsome young man who marries a beautiful girl. He is captivated by her and they take many pictures together. But as he gets older, their youthful beauty fades. The man looks continually at the pictures with a sense of loss, not having learned to love what he has in the moment he's in. The girl he married is in those pictures and has passed away long before either of them die.

    We can never find happiness in this life unless we have peace. We can never find peace until we accept our mortality. And once we realize that we will die, and that no amount of recording will change that, then we may understand the importance of the moment we're in. When we've paid attention to the life we're in, however, we have some hope of being ready for death, for we may then know we've lived life for what it was worth.

    • Or we could use modern technology and fix the whole dieing part. Given how good our neural interfaces are getting for things like artificial arms, legs etc it is pretty realistic that in another 10 years we will be able to make synthetic body parts better than human. The first step would be to take your brain out of your body and put it in a robot body. The next step would be to replace your brain cells with artificial counterparts. If you can get both of those done then death will be a far less serious iss

      • The first step would be to take your brain out of your body and put it in a robot body.

        I saw that Dr. Who story just a couple days ago - "Rise of the Cybermen" and "Age of Steel".

    • by Kittenman (971447)

      I can imagine a handsome young man who marries a beautiful girl. He is captivated by her and they take many pictures together. But as he gets older, their youthful beauty fades. The man looks continually at the pictures with a sense of loss, not having learned to love what he has in the moment he's in. The girl he married is in those pictures and has passed away long before either of them die.

      I was a handsome young man who married a beautiful girl twenty years ago, you insensitive clod!

    • I find a picture or two a day on vacation is plenty, personally. Just enough to jog memories, not so many that you have to put any effort in to pruning them, and it only takes a minute or two out of each day, at worst. Maybe one or two short videos over a week, quality is nearly irrelevant (phones are fine). Just enough to capture some voices, some movements, and some sounds around you.

      Never capture more than you are willing to sort/store/tag/backup when you get home, and never enough that you have to di

  • Marry someone, and spend the rest of your lives helping each other remember who you are and what you've done.

    Fifty years from now, you'll be able to look back at everything you've done together --- and realize what a terrible idea that was in the first place, but at least now you have someone to commiserate with.

  • I know it sounds pretty harsh but I would find it uncomfortable to be around someone recording at all times. Over time I would find more and more reasons just not to come by and eventually would not see you at all anymore.

    I don't really like the idea of being watched all the time and I don't like sharing personal information that I don't have to share. I don't do facebook, twitter, or any other social networks and being around someone that was recording constantly would just be way too invasive.

    If my family

  • A shameless plug, but check out my android app: Tiny Travel Tracker http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rareventure.gps2_trial&hl=en [google.com]

    You can store your GPS path for your entire life in an encrypted database on your phone. I found it really useful for remembering things I'd otherwise have forgotten. "Oh yea, I went to *that* bar, now I remember"

  • If you're not already recording your life events on Facebook, I'm sure your friends are having a pretty good go at doing it for you!

  • The problem is that the law treats recording devices differently from your brain. Anything artificially recorded on a personal device is not sacrosanct and is subject to seizure. Who knows what will happen to privacy once machines can actually read everything in your head. And then you have "augments" that will incorporate incorporate electronic and biological enhancements to their brain. If you have a flash chip in your head the data will likely be seizable.

    Taking all that even further it may become practi

  • ... as you continue to grow older you will eventually reach a point at which your distant past will once again become crystal clear -- like it was just yesterday!
  • I have a friend who's kept a journal for longer than I've been alive (well, maybe not quite that long but still a long time) and it can be very interesting hearing his take on events from the before time, uncolored by 20+ years of failing neurons.

    A 24/7 video record is pretty pointless. The purpose of recording the events of your life is to record the interesting events of your life, not sitting on the pot for 20 minutes trying to squeeze out a grunter.

  • "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him." -- Cardinal RIchelieu

    So how long would it take going through those recordings to find something...

    But don't worry, our technological society is evolving to that point asymptotically -- you probably already carry a tracking device in your pocket that also can be used to make phone calls; if you drive a recently manufactured car it has a rat box in it that your insurance company c
  • by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:07PM (#43010375) Homepage

    Wow! I have few enough seconds waiting for me in the future without wasting them reviewing my past. Frankly, I'm going to enjoy the moments I have waiting for me, not the dusty days gone by.

    Focus on the now. Forget the past - it's gone and there's nothing you can do to actually relive it; don't worry about the future - it will be here in a minute, anyway.

  • Memories are created (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Confused (34234) on Monday February 25, 2013 @09:20PM (#43010477) Homepage

    As if it was so simple, record everything and nothing will be forgotten. Even assuming that recording everything is technically possible and legally or morally acceptable, how are you going to find the moments you cherish? Was it two months ago or five, that you had this wonderful sex ending in some earth-shattering climax? Or was that last year? Was little Timmy 3 or 5 when he was so cute losing the fight against a roll of toilet paper, and was that in that motel in Lake Tahoe or in Chattanooga? Anyone having a huge collection of pictures will attest, that finding one specific one you can dimly recollect is a huge task.

    And then, even if you manage to find that even, times over times it has been proven, that people photographing or videotaping some event are later disappointed how bland the recording was and not matching the remembered reality. The brain is constantly editing and enhancing impression to create memories, but who's going to do that with your life recording? Taking good still-photographs that are emotionally gripping is already hard enough and needs training and experience - flickr is a testimony on what doesn't work for most part - video is even worse, not even counting cutting and post production. A life-recording that isn't edited will be of horribly low quality and have nearly no value watching.

    If you want to show your future loved ones how you were in college, don't clobber them with 1200 days of 24 hour recording. Make the effort and get a few representative images or short videos which communicate the essence of this time.

    As to how I feel if someone recorded his whole day including the time we spend in bed together? I couldn't care less.

  • Yes, there are times in my life that I know are probably forever lost to me on account of the "fog of memory" (awesome term for it, by the way), and I have to admit that at times I really do wish I could remember some of those points in my youth far more vividly, but I'd be hesitant to hand responsibility of remembering my daily experiences to a computer, because that would mean I, myself, would not have as much need *TO* remember. And, as the saying goes, if you don't use it, you lose it; I am fairly ce

  • The primary plot of Robert J Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax [wikipedia.org] is about a quantum rift that allows travel between our world and one where the Neanderthals ended up out-competing Homo Sapiens. However it postulates the Neanderthals developing a very different society from ours, including exactly the kind of "record your entire life" technology you're talking about.

    The books make it sound like a great thing... if your entire society and legal system is set up to deal with it. Trying to get there from our curren
  • spy's / secret areas and what say some edits / hacks a video to make you look guilty of crime then what?

    wait I think part 2 was part of a movie or a tv show.

  • The question has to be, when does the value of your life (time) exceed the value of the time spent re-watching your life. If you spend 5 minutes watching 5 minutes of your life that you have already lived, then you have spent 10 minutes living 5 minutes of your life. This would seem like a bit of a waste of 5 minutes. Life is precious and there isn't much of it so don't waste it watching or doing things you have already done. There is no point in this at all.
  • by Baron_Yam (643147) on Monday February 25, 2013 @10:19PM (#43010811)

    I need an AI to watch the video for me, erase the boring stuff and duplicate things, and flag and tag everything else based on date & time & categories and people involved, transcribe all conversations, do OCR on everything in front of me, plus make a nice searchable index.

    Otherwise I'll never be able to find anything interesting out of the giant heap of boring in my life if I'm ever so lucky as to have something worth reliving actually happen to me.

  • The Final Cut [imdb.com]

    the idea has been explored in depth

  • Watching back your life will literally take a lifetime worth of time to do. Not to mention how long it would take to edit it into something comprehensible.

    Here's a suggestion: Live your life and look forward instead of focusing on how you can dwell harder. Spend more time doing things you love instead of remembering the things you used to love.

  • I'm not so interested in recording all of my life, but I'd love to have at least a 30 minute buffer of recording going at all times. Then when something cool happens, I can tap my Google Googles, or whatever the tool turns out to be, and have that bit saved.
  • I couldn't think of anything worse! There are many good reasons why large parts of my life are forgotten. It's not easy forgetting all that stuff that I'd rather not remember.
    Having it all recorded in other people's memories is the ultimate nightmare.
    Apart from immediate family I don't think I'm in touch with anyone I knew 20 years ago. And that's the way I like it.
    It's not easy being a fool.
    The past is dead.
    The future is unknowable.
    As for the present... I forgot to bring one.
  • by UnanimousCoward (9841) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @01:01AM (#43011653) Homepage Journal

    ...I think this one is the best (as opposed to the ones that are a photo for every day of one's life): http://vimeo.com/40448182

  • by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Tuesday February 26, 2013 @09:16AM (#43013241)

    People forget what it was like prior to the internet when you went to your neighbors for dinner and they brought out the slide projector or 8mm projector to show vacation pictures or their child's play or recitle, etc. We all sat through those dreadful slide shows and movies, being polite, but face it, nobody really cares about your life, at least not as much as you think they do. They may care about you, but not every detail of what you do. Your grandparents understood this. They had a picture or two of key events to hold the memory. Memories are important, not documentaries.

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