"Should our digital infrastructure – that born of the idea of a world-wide, connected web after all – be better at showing us actual connections, especially now that earlier limitations such as dial-up connections have been lifted. Do we now need architects of memory?
Key to the functioning of the Memory Palace, is the idea that nothing is ever lost, merely “misplaced”, a further parallel with the internet as the greatest human archive of all. If we now find ourselves creating digital memory palaces in order to navigate our mental memory palaces, does this take us yet further away from that which we are trying to pin down in the first place – human experience?
We have handed over our memories (and by default, increasingly our identities) for storage on the internet but somewhere along the way it seems we may have all but forgotten the art of remembering."
In Bush’s writing, and in prognoses for the information revolution more generally, there is no difference between access to and understanding the record, between what would be called, perhaps symptomatically, machine reading and human reading and comprehension, between information and argument. The difficulty supposedly lies in selecting the data, not in reading it, for it is assumed that reading is a trivial act, a simple comprehension of the record’s content. Once the proper record is selected, there is no misreading, no misunderstanding, only transparent information.11
Chun argues that accessing some information does not necessarily mean understanding it. Reading does not necessarily lead to comprehension. And most importantly, information is useless without an argument to provide context to make it meaningful.
Access ≠ Understanding
Reading ≠ Comprehension
Information ≠ Argument