To Google your life

Charles Stross has posted a richly commented transcript of a very well-received speech ‘which discusses certain under-considered side effects of some technologies…’ such as an upcoming capability to build a ‘lifelog’.

He says, “I’m a science fiction writer by trade, and people often think that means I spend a lot of time trying to predict possible futures. Actually, that’s not the job of the SF writer at all — we’re not professional futurologists, and we probably get things wrong as often as anybody else.

“But because we’re not tied to a specific technical field we are at least supposed to keep our eyes open for surprises.

“So I’m going to ignore the temptation to talk about a whole lot of subjects — global warming, bioengineering, the green revolution, the intellectual property wars — and explain why, sooner or later, everyone in this room is going to end up in Wikipedia. And I’m going to get us there the long way round …

“Today, I can pick up about 1Gb of FLASH memory in a postage stamp sized card for that much money. fast-forward a decade and that’ll be 100Gb. Two decades and we’ll be up to 10Tb.

“10Tb is an interesting number.

That’s a megabit for every second in a year — there are roughly 10 million seconds per year.

That’s enough to store a live DivX video stream — compressed a lot relative to a DVD, but the same overall resolution — of everything I look at for a year….”

Why would anyone want to do this?