I spent Sunday afternoon scanning photos. Most of them were baby photos of me. It is part of my family tree project. I scanned all of the photos in my baby book (which documented my life through about age 3 1/2).
Scanning and editing photos, especially black and white snapshots is a mindnumbing process. And it is odd trying to bring your own past into focus...literally.
It dawned on me though, how some in some cultures, people demand some compensation for snapping a photo of them. They think the camera is capturing part of your soul and apparently cash makes up for that robbery. As I looked at the face of my infant self, I wondered if that was true. Does a photo capture your soul? If so, how do you reclaim it?
Maybe by scanning and restoring the photos I am reclaiming my soul. And by storing them on my hard drive and on CDs I am ensuring my mortality. But don't hard drives fail and CDs deteriorate with age? What becomes of my imortality then?
It gave me an idea for a business for some enterprising technical person out there. What if you offer a Web-based eternal storage for this stuff that makes up my soul. Take these images I scan and these thoughts I blog and, for a price, make them eternal. As technology changes, you promise to transfer me from storage media to storage media. Think of it as a form of cryonics for the soul.
But even if someone "thaws" out my words and images frozen in cyberspace, will that revive my soul? Will future generations understand who I am or was? And will my ultimate question be answered -- did I matter?