The End of Forgetting: Transparent Identities and Permanent Records
By: Jonah Bossewitch
Published: 12/15/2008
Uploaded: 12/22/2008
Uploaded by: Jonah Bossewitch
Tags: death of amnesia, end of forgetting, Facebook, Myspace, privacy, surveillance, transparency

Description/Abstract: This essay attempt to disentangle the overlapping fuzzy notions of transparency, surveillance, and privacy through a series of historical progressions and thought experiments intended to catalog and map the contours of this domain. It tracks the parallel rise in the regulation of corporate disclosure, the social movement demanding open government, and the self-surveillance society epitomized by the behaviors on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook.

Is there a relationship between the rise in transparency and the sharp increase in record keeping? What kinds of social and cultural impacts might emerge from this rise in record keeping? Can we begin to develop a discourse around the politics of memory that productively frames the critical discourse around privacy, surveillance, transparency and free speech? What is the relationship between memory and personal or organizational identity? How is deception woven into the fabric of everyday psychology and social life?