Less Biased Memories

Similar to the way posterity review could help academic incentives, a simple way to reduce bias about how we see our own lives is to collect more data on our lives.   From Marginal Revolution:

MyLifeBits has also provided Bell with a new suite of tools for capturing his interactions with other people and machines.  The system records his telephone calls and the programs playing on radio and television.  … stores a copy of every Web page he visits and a transcript of every instant message he sends or receives.  It also records the files he opens, the songs he plays and the searches he performs.  … MyLifeBits continually uploads his location from a portable Global Positioning System device, wirelessly transmitting the information to his archive.  … SenseCam, … automatically takes pictures when its sensors indicate that the user might want a photograph. 

How many of you would want this?  I wouldn’t.  I prefer the memories I choose to keep, and the ones I make up, over the ones I really had. 

Those who prefer unbiased memories should want this.  With a full record of your life, you could settle disputes about who said what when, and how often you do what.   

You don’t have to wait to record your full life in sound.  A $200 pocket voice recorder saves 150MB of high quality audio on a twelve hour battery charge, and a $200 hard disk will store three years of audio at that rate.   Of course it will be a few years until we can organize such data well.

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