"I realized that memory was itself an event on which we needed to reflect," he said in a recent interview at the University of Rome. "Memory is not just a mirror of what has happened, it is one of the things that happens, which merits study."
I have a love hate relationship with the New York Times. Really, I guess it's a love
relationship. Like any institution, it's a combination of the individuals who make it up and the historical ties it has to past events. But any time you theorize on memory
you get me. Partly because my friend Irene, who authored the unbelievable long gone never archived web page Slow Down for Sloths
enjoyed talking about issues of memory and nostalgia. Of course you can't ever see that page, but trust me that in Fall '95 it was revolutionary, and adorable.
Memory is the overarching role player in human relations. How you remember an event informs how you will interpret, which informs how you will retell the story which informs how people will react which informs the next decision you make and the cycle continues.
randomWalks is an example of the Internet replacing oral history and correcting, freezing or holding our memories. If you want to know what I was doing on 04/02/88, just check the poker history. As we "remember" new-old events, dates get added and deleted pretty regularly. When we (the global network of rW editors) reference a conversation or news event, there's a good chance someone posted it on randomWalks.
I posted in rW books (which has a broken archive - hence no link - no "Instant Memory") about Jhumpa Lahiri getting married to a "Westerner." As I used it, the term "Westerner" referred to a white person. Clearly Jhumpa, born in London, residing in New York and married in Calcutta is a "Westerner" as much as I (jewish male) am, and my post was literally reinscribing the notion of People of Color as "others" in the West regardless of birthrights. At the time I was in India, and reading her book. She had gotten married the day before a co-worker of mine, and my other co-workers seemed dissapointed she had married a "Westerner."
When my friend called me on it, I reevaluated my "memory" of the conversations about the book in India - my co-worker told me she had married a "Westerner," in part because they did not want to say "White guy" to my face. I never would have realized that in India, because the racial dynamics were obviously different there. In the case randomWalks held my immediate reaction - my memory - of the situation so I could reevaluate it later in a different context.