So, this new gadget’s in the works.
And it sounds like something straight outta that movie “Final Cut”.
The one where Robin Williams is this futuristic photo splicer who takes bits of people’s recorded lives (because everyone has every second of their lives recorded in the future) and turns them into a montage for their families to watch or something? I think I got the gist of that right, but we can’t be sure. The point is, “Lifelogger” is coming out with something like this – sort of like the thing they have now that you wear on your head like a spelunking headlight, but for your whole life:
Imagine being able to rewind your life and relive the moments that are closes to you heart. For instance, this software can tell you that you were at the Eifel tower, you saw your wife’s face, there was a sign that read “restaurant” and you were talking about “truffles”. All you need to do is put any (or all) of those search tags and the video which has any of those tags will pop up in less than a second. With the click of a button you can go to the moment when you said “Truffle” or even the exact second when your wife’s face appears in the video.
As ever, I’m trying to play both sides of this by thinking of a few pro’s and their corresponding con’s to this supercharged GoPro. I came up with at least six so far, but – admittedly – my cons seem to have won out:
1. RELIVE LIFE IN
SENILITY GOLDEN YEARS
“That story was beautiful, darling. Now who the fuck are you again?”
PRO: Losing your memory must be a terrifying and bewildering experience. The elderly forget who they are while drinking bottled Clorox and wandering out into the street. Wouldn’t it be sweet to show grams all the wonderful memories she’s made as she lays getting bedsores? Maybe just one scene would spark a whole return of her mental faculties and stave off the pain of Alzheimer’s altogether.
CON: Then again, she might just freak out. I’m imagining this happening during the candlelight dinner scene of The Notebook: “That’s me! I didn’t do that! When was this? Who took over my body? Is it the pod people?! Are the pod people here? Are you one of them? NURSE! HALP!”
2. CONVO STENOGRAPHER
Remember the Dave Chappelle home stenographer bit?
PRO: I’ve spent 90% of my conversations-about-a-conversation with my family members and ex-boyfriends wishing this thing existed so bad that forehead veins have popped in the process. Especially those times where people try to retrospectively revise what they’ve actually said (“I said you could work harder – not that you’re lazy”) Oh, yes. I totally always misconstrue two totally different phrases such as those… I’m going to wax Google-wrong-search here and say: DID YOU MEAN: “I MEANT you could work harder and I’M SORRY I said you were lazy IT WAS INCONSIDERTE OF ME and I’M WRONNNNG.”…?
CON: As much as I still want this thing on a level so intense I’m getting hemorrhoids just thinking about it, I don’t think it’d yield the results I want. If political debates show anything (and they usually don’t but in this case, they do), it’s that when you put proof in the opposition’s face of what they’ve just said – and they’re not ready to apologize yet on their own – you’re not gonna get the response you want. A backhanded, lackluster apology is always so unappealing. Rarely have I seen a stiffly-clinging-to-ignorant-belief-system opponent pause, about-face, drop their guard, raise their conversational arms, and say “You’re right. You’re totally right. I don’t know what I was thinking – but it was wrong”. Not when I’m being an asshole and shoving forensics in their face, at least. I think it’s that whole “fire with fire” thing or something.
3. EX-RELATIONSHIP IDEALIZERS
PRO: So, they say when we miss an ex-lover, it’s because we’re forgetting the bad shit they did – from their egregious habits to the fact they never laughed at my delightfully enchanting sense of humor. That’s when we start to miss them in an abstract enough way to skew the reality of the past. Seeing a series of the whole story’d help a lot, wouldn’t it? “Oh yeah. I forgot he was a bit racist. And had a receding hairline. Oh and look – there’s that time I came home early and he was in my lingerie and Halloween wig dancing to ‘Goodbye Horses’ in my mirror. Okay. That’s all very helpful. Next!”
CON: Will reinforcing someone’s unappealing traits make me dismissive in the future? Maybe a really great person will come up to me outta nowhere. Real prince charming. But because I’ve spent so much time ingraining a hateful association with the nose mole they just happen to share in common with my ex, I’ll have a Kubrikian style Alex-the-Droog vomit response to this lovely young specimen. Boom. Fairy tale ending lost – all ‘cause you guys had the same face anomaly.
4. PEN FOR YOUR THOUGHTS…
PRO: Many a day have I made that Reynolds face, trying to recall an ingenious thought I failed to transcribe upon waking from a dream. Or when I’ve been out jogging. These times are often when I get some of my best ideas. But I run for a minimum of half an hour when I go – so by the time I’m done, these mental gems dissolve back into the universe’s creativity cracks. And just like that, I’ve lost these mental treasures. I assume I’m not the only one who’s somewhere sans a pen or iphone when epiphanies are bestowed upon them. So, yeah. This gadget’d be great for me to just talk to myself out loud, and then rewind the entire narration of my internal experience later. Plus it’d be cool to see all the nature I missed when I was wrapped up in my brain vomit to see carnivorous creatures lurking in the periphery to which I was oblivious while ranting and running the trail (Black Bear 1: “Look, dad, it’s dinner!”; Black Bear 2: “Nah, son. That one’s talking to itself. It’s bad meat. We’ll wait.”)
CON: There’s something really validating about mentally forcing myself to remember a whole internal monologue because I’ve made strong enough associations with the gist of it while I was pen-less and phone-less. (“Fuck a duck; that’s the phrase I want to remember. And ducks swim in ponds… I’ll be running by an actual pond as I return to my parked car – and when I look at it, I’ll remember everything, and write it all into my phone”) It works. And there’s a kind of a natural high that follows. Then again, I suppose the post cardio endorphin flood helps.
5. DOCUMENTING THOSE ILLUMINATI PARTIES WE CRASH
“I don’t know, Janice. I’ll bring a Lifelogger next time so that we don’t have to rely on my insufficient powers of perception…”
PRO: We’ve all done it once or twice. Put on the mask and cloak. Get the secret password. Have an orgy with some mask donning models while the blindfolded pianist quietly plays in the background. Wishing we could prove we were here later to our frien-… Oh, wait. That was Tom Cruise. In a movie. Not me in my actual life. Welp. If nada else, for those of us like myself who have considerable trouble distinguishing between fantasy and reality, the pro can be this: it’ll be an excellent visual bitchslap back to the land of the latter two.
CON: Then again, we’re using technology (which averts attention from reality – to a digital screen) to find reality?
Bit of a paradox, no? When “perception is reality”?
6. BLACKMAIL AND CALLING OUT BISHES
PRO: A kind of a yes-and to the home stenographer. In an era where memes do the leg work for our brains, when many people do have an original thought, they don’t stop to put it through the old is-this-appropriate filter before vomiting it out. That’s when you get everything from latent racism to generically cruel commentary you wouldn’t want everyone knowing you said – born out of insecurity and oozing from your shiz-I-shoulda-dealt-with-long-ago brain centers. Ya know, that same center that leads people to send nudes over Snapchat. Which will obviously be the ultimate form of blackmail with this new article of technology just waiting to record those seconds long sexy selfies (selxies? No? No.)
CON: Kind of like a more overt form of the ex-thing: Am I really gonna spend my free time focusing on concentrated hatred? If somebody violently trespasses you and you wanna get it out there to prevent others from getting hurt (like that dad who called out his daughter’s bullies because he was afraid she might kill herself like the kid down the street did) that’s one thing. Someone’s being thoughtless enough to cause a wave of horror and potentially ended lives. But if you’re just torturing someone like a cat with it’s still alive dinner, you’re gonna have a bad time. First, you have to keep it interesting (can’t keep using the same threat each time – you have to delve emotionally and learn how to say the same threat in innovative ways “what would your boss say when I show him?” then, next time, move onto “Okay, you don’t have to come and rub my feet or do my laundry or paint my nails… but it’s going to suck when you lose your job…”) You see? That kind of work is almost more exhausting for you than them. Especially when it starts to lose its appeal for you. Seeking the same cat and mouse thrill, you ultimately go from being the cat to lighting the neighborhood cat on fire to get your kicks. It’s just a downward spiral, man. Avoid. With or without a life recorder.
In sum, I’m half and half on this thing.
(Half NOPE and half HELL NOPE.)
NSA and Orwellian society and who-else-is-seeing-my-recorded-life aside, what if I make an awesome memory and want to relive it like a living photo album? And then when I do, I realize how much it actually sucked? And then I’m sad because the high point of my week was a sham and my brain betrayed me with its stupid positive outlook on things? Those zen guru dudes always talk about how dwelling on the past and future is about 99.9 percent of where our anxieties come from (I might have made up that statistic – saving the last micropercentage, obviously, for that red dead-nearly battery iphone icon). So why would I want to spend my now sorting out my before? And using it against people which is exhausting – albeit a brilliant idea my inner evil genius should be awarded for? Aside from the talking-jogging thing, I’d never wear this thing. Why waste life poring over footage? Who’s to say the reel’s any more real?
Plus, I’m pretty sure Robin Williams’ character gets murdered at the end of that movie.