Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dealing with memory ,

Being connected to the computer has a lot of side effects that can be related to it's use and the applications that come together with it . In the age of information and digital interaction the use of personal avatars in establishing networks related to the field where people work . These avatars can come to us as users in different forms and with different types of functions but one thing that they all share in common is the social networking aspect that they have ; in this way putting and making people or different users to interact and to communicate or to attach themselves to all kinds of different pre-existing networks that are constructed around different types of interests . These avatars guarantee an constant presence in different networks or online communities and on a different level can be considered as information accumulators that are depositing exterior and interior given type of information . They accumulate personal information such as photos , interests , friends , personal data and things that we like ( music , videos etc ) the information that is accumulated in these network knots can be erased but it will follow us every time because of the fact that there is no escape and everyone can find a specific user and become" friends "in this virtual place . In this way all the users that are part of these social networks that interconnect people and places drag after them all the outer users that are [part of the network , in this way wen going online there is always this illusion of being in a continuous present because of the fact that in the electronic age because of al the interconnections that are produced trough different types of apparatus and networks everything happens in a continuous now , a continuos present . So the online media does not allow us to escape the past because any person that had interacted with us can find our avatar . The issue now can be turned towards the meaning of an avatar and towards the importance that it can have in the daily life . Another question that pops up is the one related to the way an avatar can represent a user and ethics related to the possibility of creating multiple personalities and different avatars by the same user are also an important part of the equation .
An interesting way to look at memory was created by the science fiction writer Phillip K Dick that was part of the cyberpunk movement but envisioned the future way that is different from what we are used to when referring to this kind of genre . He saw the future ruled by humans and not by machines as outer writers envisioned . For him the machines that are part of the society do not have such an importance as for outer writers give them, he sees them part of the daily with normal fictions that are related to them . People use them and are users and the place where he goes as far as possible is to play with the imagination and transform technology into androids that are made after the human model . Phillip K dick does not play in his writings and novels with a future that is controlled by machines and people are enslaved or part of a larger system ruled by these entities ; instead he plays with outer parts of our human nature and that is the memory and the parallel universe that can be created out of it or trough the prism of the imagination . Phillip K dick plays with the main characters puts them in situations that cannot be explained for them and in some cases parallel universes can take an important role in the action of a novel . The writer plays with the mind of the characters more then with the technology that surrounds them he does not look at technology as such an important factor in the main plot of it's novels . The pattern that is created trough his work in a memory related pattern in witch Phillip K Dick presents different futures with different problems and different main characters that all have in common the memory loss problem .A majority of it's novels are build around this pattern , the pattern of memory ; Total Recall , Minority report , Paycheck and outer novels deal with the problem of memory , past , present and the consequences on the future that these gaps can generate . K Dick gives a different view on the future than his contemporary writers give he sees the future as a place with technological innovation that does not stand in our way as humans but the intrigues and the chain of events that is described make the story and gives it the element of excitement. This cyber punk future that is fount in the universes created by Phillip K Dick has a stronger logic than what is presented to us by different authors in their writings . The characters from his novels are faced with the problem of memory and a continuous loop between part and future , the present is the time when things have to be solved . These kind of problems that are related to memory and memories from different or parallel universes can be considered metaphysical and give birth to a series of questions that are more related to scenarios that incorporate ideas that are related to quantum mechanics and not necesarily the idea in witch society becomes hypertechnologized and we as humans and inhabitants become the captives of our own creations .
The future as seen by P. K. Dick is charged by the feeling of borderom and some kind of routine that is found in the air , The parallel universes that he envisions are alternatives and spaces where the daily life action happens in the same time in these parallel spaces . He deals with memory loss and sees it as a trigger for the upcoming parts of the story in this way the past is always present in the present and it's lack an important factor in creating the future . So as a conclusion and going back to the beginnings we as avatar users because of this interconnection we carry with us forward past information that in a lot of cases has nothing to do with who we are as persons and characters , the past can become an corruption element for the future that is why when having an online avatar we have to look more at the aesthetics that can be implemented into it's use and the functions that it has as and online object or as Bruce Sterling was describing these avatars , spimes.

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