Thursday, January 13, 2011

All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain...

Drinking from the firehose that is the internet, you run across so many good little nuggets that will end up only half-remembered not a month or two down the road. For all the permanence of the 'tubes, a lot of stuff goes by me that, in its ephemerality, is more like a good conversation or that magazine article or newspaper column you wish you'd clipped than it is a passage from a book. I know that I often wind up wishing I'd bookmarked comments like this one or this one for later recollection, but I never do...

That's one thing I like about my physical dead-tree library: It's a real-life Memory Palace. I can vaguely recollect a factoid or passage, walk to the proper shelf or stack and spot the book by it's spine, and within a few minutes, I'm putting down a fresh coat of it on my faded recollection, turning it all bright and shiny again.

19 comments:

Cond0010 said...

This isn't a side of you I see too often, Tam.

Not that its a bad thing, mind you...

Barron said...

I completely agree with the dead tree library. I'm sad that my library is no longer what it used to be since we had to sell a lot of the books when my dad passed away. No space to store them. Though I did save the important stuff (Civil War, American History, Annals of America, The Great Books, etc.)

If something comes to mind from a book, I can usually find it in 10 minutes tops. If it came from the internet, even with google fu I may never find it.

ViolentIndifference said...

And excellent Blade Runner quote.

Anonymous said...

As far as the firehose is concerned, I use Evernote to keep track of articles that I want to remember. It's an imperfect solution, but the upside is I can also access the notes on my mobile devices.

Tam said...

Sometimes the book I wish to recollect a passage from is one I owned before I ever saw a cell phone or any other mobile device.

And, for me at least, a room full of books is a better mnemonic device than the best organized file tree. :o

John Venlet said...

Drinking from the firehose that is the internet, you wind up running across so many good little nuggets that will only wind up half-remembered not a month or two down the road.

0s and 1s, Tam, 0s and 1s.

I value the internet for the depth I am willing to dig to, my books for their long companionship.

Tam said...

John Venlet,

Ugh. I used "wind up" three times in a paragraph? Thanks for making me go back and edit my initial forebrain spew! ;)

RobertSlaughter said...

Agreed with Ms. Tam on the value of the dead-tree library. Much easier for me to locate a reference as well, and much less 1984-able. While I can see some value to ebooks, hard-copy don't crash (as a GPS-heavy friend of mine found out once driving across many states -- I told him he should keep a key-map handy as a backup).

Matt G said...

Copying my blog titles again, Tam?

This time, I think you can especially forgiven, seeing as how I was actually just quoting an end line from your favorite movie. :)

Matt G said...

;)

Homer said...

Sheesh. Truer words have rarely been spoken. Or blogged...

As a techie who does document imaging systems for a living (such as it is), I vacillate between the reverence of a dead tree presentation and the digital representation of it. For example, Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon (among a lot of others) is one that gets dragged off the shelf every few years for a re-read. Yet, I still wish that I also possessed a digital copy of it when I'm looking for a quote or favorite passage, allowing the Magic Gizmo to find what I'm looking for, rather than poring through the pages myself. Which, while very enjoyable, is a much slower process.

I envy - but, only slightly - those with large Kindle-only libraries. Speed of Search is great, but they're missing the joy of page turning and bookmarks. Reading is more than absorbing page content, it's also the pleasure of tactile sense, and the sense of surrounding and supporting experiences, be they a glass of whatever in a pleasant and welcoming environment (perhaps the Porch in Indy, or poolside here) and the gentle scent of good, aged tobacco.

Ahh, to spend eternity in a warm and comfortable climate, locked in an infinite library, forced to read one's way out....Heaven, Heinlein, etc...

ViolentIndifference said...

Don't break your glasses.

Homer said...

Which is why they invented Lasik....to frustrate the Rod Serling fans.

Anonymous said...

I often copy and paste particular posts to a separate text file. I have thousands of those and can often find the gem I otherwise can barely recall.

Tam said...

Matt,

It's funny, because just writing the post title caused me to call up the video to which I'm sure your link leads.

When I did so, I noticed in the sidebar that someone had done a "LEGO" version of the scene. Normally I go watch those for their cleverness, but in this case I didn't. It seemed somehow... sacrilegious.

Dave said...

LASIK doesn't work for near-vision problems.

Firehand said...

Books. Lots and lots of books. I had a dream when I was a kid that I'd have a house with one room as a library, and I'd either smoke a pipe or burn some pipe tobacco to have that aroma I remember from a room I once saw.

Daughter just got a Kindle and loves it, but she hasn't gotten rid of the shelves of paper.

Keads said...

I don't know about the permanence of the Interwebs. There is the Internet Archives after all. "Capturing web sites from 1996!"

I have books I read when I was 14, textbooks from 1982 that occasionally still get drug out to help at work. I have many books!

Books after a time become friends. And as you say repaint and brighten up some old memories.

Jay.Mac said...

One of the most useful add-ons for Firefox is Quicknote. Just highlight a bit of text, right click and it saves it, complete with link to the page you're on.

Great way to save quotes, info you're researching and the like. And my archived Quicknote documents are always fun to browse through.

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/quicknote/