If the Internet does promote the “refindability” of information, it could also help ground and extend public memory. Maybe if we could find facts faster, news would not, in Jack’s words “grow old before its time,” and public curiosity and the public interest would persist longer on the stories that matter.
Public memory is something my fellow panelist Jerry Michalski first got me thinking about last summer. How can we enlist the tools of archive, aggregation and collective commentary to bolster not only knowledge, but conscience?
… as for the question of the dangers of aggregation “across everything,” when I asked the panel about it, Trumbull said “There’s no groundswell to ask for that anonymity,” and he may be right. On many privacy matters, people have voted with their feet, to quote an old colleague from my early new media days.
Panel moderator Jeffrey Veen added that soon we may rely on a “layer of data brokers” to manage our relationships with the business and government institutions who’d have an interest in trolling that ripple data/info cloud around us. Sounds awfully William Gibson/Phillip K. Dick to need a broker running information interference for us. But it also looks more and more necessary every day.