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

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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  • 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 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.


  • 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.

  • 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 []. 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.

  • Memories of my child (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 25, 2013 @08:09PM (#43009913)

    My daughter is 2 years old and I don't know how many hours of video there are documenting her life. What I find is when I go back to said videos, my actual memory of her as a newborn is replaced by a memory of what's on the video. Sometimes it's just better to remember the experience as it was.

    I would like for a way for videos and and photos to be locked up for many years and only be accessible when the distant memory of her as a newborn is all but forgotten.

  • 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.

  • 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 [] that looks at this. They interviewed Jill Price [] 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).

  • 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.

Suburbia is where the developer bulldozes out the trees, then names the streets after them. -- Bill Vaughn