On Memories

In our digital age, we forgot how to forget. One could refer to the entire and precise chat history of what happened years ago, whether it’s pleasant or disturbing. Sometimes I was even thinking about a device that would record and index what’s happening around precisely, to bridge the gap between digital and real.

Yet we are designed to forget. Things of the past are fading, giving us the headspace to live our lives. Making us learn, not just google our own history for clues.

I did remove some of my memories in the past, and I felt sorry about it. Some are still stored somewhere, like on my old hard drives, or encrypted in non-friendly format. Some are lost permanently because I deleted them accidentally. Some I choose to forget forever.

I could reach out for them, but as in the real world, it’ll take some effort. I might experience nostalgia, joy listening to my old music collection. I might experience confusion and anger, looking at my old photos. One day it’ll be lost forever anyway.

Surely, all these archives might be useful forensically, when you really need to recover some detail from your distant past. But does this benefit overweight the burden of emotions and thoughts and feelings of the past? I think I’m comfortable to let my past lose the clarity, but gain the meaning, and become memories.

$ find ~ -ctime +3y -archive

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