Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Identity Technology

Maybe it’s time somebody collected a books worth of essays on the iPod and its inter/intrapersonal repercussions? And doesn’t the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self sound terribly interesting? I mean, wow, those site graphics of an old slab of vinyl, a cassette abutting an unspooled reel to reel, a super 8 and clunky videocassette are so redolent of this initiative’s promise of investigating that fascinating intersect of technology and identity that I’d love to read some of the stuff they’ve compiled.

I’ve had a lot of inchoate thoughts regarding technology as a reflection of who we are as people so it’s exciting to see folks with more discipline making an earnest effort to understand how this relationship affects us interpersonally as well as, and maybe more importantly, intrapersonally.

This reminds me, I picked up a book recently that was right up this intrapersonal ally. It’s Geoffrey O’Brien’s Sonota For Jukebox: Pop Music, Memory and the Imagined Life. Here’s a blurb from a review:

For O'Brien recorded music -- especially those songs and records that got listened to obsessively, often in one's youth -- becomes a sort of memory-retrieval device, a flawed one, but still a way to tap into recollections of things past, as potent and evocative as a snapshot of a long-lost friend or a deceased parent. "Inside those songs, I know, can be found whatever is left of whole days and weekends and seasons otherwise beyond retrieval. The trick is to locate the seams in the music that will permit an unraveling of what was woven into it," he writes about the Beach Boys.

I hope to get to this one soon.

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