Monday, March 06, 2006

Snapshots

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?

9 comments:

The Michael said...

How about this.....much like the town hall, every city or town or village or extended county strip mall should have a "Hall of our Ancestors", which stores the photographic and audio history of every citizen who lived there. You can go home and go there to call up relatives or friends you once knew, and visit them, just as they were, not just a cold headstone. As part of this database, everyone can leave behind a personal testemony, words of wisdom, or whatever they wish to leave us to say, "I was here, and this is who I was." THAT, my friend, is immortality!

Lights in the wake said...

Damn, Tim, you are on fire this last week or so. Post after post of thoughtful and/or entertaining material. That bobblehead entry was great.

darlingina said...

Youuuu are one creative man Tim! Been catching up on all your great posts here and would have commented sooner, But.... my mind was thinking outside the box and got lost. It made a run for the border, Taco Bell! ;o)
Keep on keepin on Tim.
Hugs,
~gina~

Tim ID said...

Interesting approach, the michael, but I would prefer to turn it over to private enterprise. People likely wouldn't trust the government for fear that it was just one more trick by Big Brother to gather information.

Thanks lights. I have tried to be a disciplined blogger and blog daily whether I have something profound to say or not.

And Gina, always a pleasure to hear from you. Yo Quiero Taco Bell!

shandi said...

This is a great idea Tim. I have heard of the talking headstones they plan on using so you can see your family members as they were.

It seems we have to keep updating the technology as you pointed out. Eventually everything you are and everything you will be can be stored in a chip the size of the head of a pin. I just hope I have someone who wants to look that closely.

Tim ID said...

"I just hope I have someone who wants to look that closely." I think that is a pivotle point here. For us to live on, even in memory chips, requires someone to actually care enough to look.

R. said...

I've considered a similar thing at length after discussing the verity of the Bible's contents with my father. My thoughts on the matter were something along the lines of: "I'd feel more comfortable if God had cryptographically signed the Bible so we knew it hadn't been changed over the years and that the chain of custody was assured."

cherish said...

Great post Tim!! When you are hot you are hot!

Tim ID said...

R. I wish I could have been there to see my brother's reaction. I imagine it was a slow head shake.

And thank you Cherish! But I kind of like to think I'm always hot or at least warm if not tepid. :)