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Vannevar Bush's Concept of Recording A Life Comes One Step Closer

March 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 124

Who owns all of Leonardo da Vinci's inventions, innovations, and art? I would submit to you that it isn't his families anymore, nor does anyone feel that he owns it personally. The actual drawings and notebooks have been sold to a wealthy individual, but all of those drawings are available in digital form. The art is owned by collectors, and yet, we've all seen pictures and renderings of his greatest works from our current period's point of view.

We all now believe that all his life's work belongs to the world, but I would like to ask you a philosophical question; when exactly did it become the world's to own and exactly how long after his death and thus no longer belonging to his family, offspring's ancestors? That is a fair and legitimate question, and today we tend to believe that 50 years is a fair number, but who's to say what that might be in the future?

If your personal life's work and your information is stored in the cloud, at an IT data center, and you pay a given price for this service, but then you fail to pay or you reneged on your payment program, then who owns that data and information? What if you are sued, and you file bankruptcy, and the court decides that the information you have stored in the cloud has monetary value in the amount of? And what if they then grant that information to the winner of the lawsuit? What if you can't pay your bill, is the data center to erase all of your information, are they required to store the information until which time you can pay?

If you rent a storage space and you fail to pay, they don't wait until you can pay, after so many months they allow people to come and it is auctioned off, whatever is inside the storage unit, to help pay the bill and the lost revenue to the storage company. If you have scrapbooks in there, or personal keepsakes; tough luck. Okay so, why do I bring this up? Because I believe Vannevar Bush's concept of recording a life, something that Bell Labs was working on around the time that the Internet was being invented is almost upon us.

In other words everything about you, everywhere you go, every movie you watch, every music piece you listen to, every time you go to sleep, wake up, and everything you read will be recorded. Perhaps you don't mind, because you will have access to this information, and your life will be completely digitized, and there is a benefit to that, to the user, or the individual living their life experience in this case. Okay so, let's take this one step further.

There was an interesting article recently in MIT's Technology Review titled; "Microsoft Builds a Browser for Your Past - Prototype software called Lifebrowser uses artificial intelligence to help you revisit important events, photos, and e-mails from your own life," posted by Tom Simonite on March 15, 2012. The article stated:

"Mining personal data to discover what people care about has become big business for companies such as Facebook and Google. Now a project from Microsoft Research is trying to bring that kind of data mining back home to help people explore their own piles of personal digital data. Software called Lifebrowser processes photos, e-mails, Web browsing history, calendar events, and other documents stored on a person's computer and identifies landmark events. Its timeline interface can explore, search, and discover those landmarks as a kind of memory aid."

Now then, if your entire life has been stored, digitized, and recorded then I ask; who owns it? Do you own it? Because right now if you post something up on Facebook, their terms and conditions of use might not answer this question in the way you'd prefer it to be answered. In fact, they may own it too, and if they do they can use it in any way they wish, within the new privacy laws and regulations that is. If you store your information on another system, or your personal data is in the cloud, then the people that run that data center have complete control of your life experience, and everything about you.

So who owns it? And if you own it, how long do you own it for - until your death, until you file bankruptcy, until the day you can't pay for some reason, perhaps you have a medical issue? And if you do own it up until your death, for how much longer do you own it, and when might they take your life experience, and share it with anyone who wants to go through it? What if you are famous person, and the world like to know more about you in the future after your death, should they be allowed to view it, should people be allowed to go in and search through your life experience?

And who should be able to do this, your offspring, your family, future generations, or just anyone? These are all futurist questions we must ask ourselves today, because tomorrow starts sooner than we might have imagined. Please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Future Concepts. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

Source: EzineArticles
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