A few weeks ago Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, gave a memorable speech. “In 2029,” Schmidt predicted, “you will be able to buy eleven petabytes of digital storage on a single hard drive for less than $100. This device, by my reckoning, will be able to store 24 hours of DVD-quality video every single day for six hundred years.” That’s enough for an entire lifetime from cradle to grave – with room for future generations, too.

A very faint tremor started today, and we should take Schmidt very seriously when he says that the Internet age has only just begun. The question that no one has yet answered is: why should people do this, and want to do this? Why, for example, would they record their lives? Social communication is only part of the answer. Age-old human experience tells us that only what is remembered has really happened.

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