Viktor Mayer-Schonberger spoke at Google suggesting that the internet damages a fundamental human and societal function - that of forgetting. It's very interesting, highlighting a gamble that I long ago comitted to both as a socialist and as a transhumanist - that we can adapt. (I am listly prone to dislike human memory itself, given what we know of it - he does not consider the negative aspects of human memory nor how, should we commit to using external aids (like Wikis) to help us organise our thought would help us avoid some of the problems he mentions) - the biggest criticisms he makes, that of silly intolerance of either difference or improprieties in the past, are things that openness would force us (eventually) to discard - prudishness will be weakened by our new openness. Nontheless, his concerns are real, and despite a commitment to new openness and digital rememberance, I recognise that my hopes that we can grow to meet the challenge may be false ones.
I thus nervously reject efforts to aid his cause, hoping the cost won't be too great. It is nontheless a very interesting topic and talk.
I really wish Google would not close comments on these things (or allow authors to close comments).