15th April 2002

We did a bunch of interviews about the future of technology for an upcoming issue. A few interviewees were talking about how data acquisition is changing. We’re coming up with the technology and storage capacity to record the infinite details of everyday interactions. I’m curious about how this will affect mourning. Right now, we can go through photo albums, maybe some journals or home movies, to remember someone we’ve lost. What will happen when we have thousands of hours worth of tapes to review? It seems like it would take much longer to break out of grief when tangible reminders of a loved one are so plentiful.


My landlord lives above me and operates a small convenience store nearby. This weekend, his wife stopped me as I was headed out. I think I know who took your flowers, she said. She told me her husband had seen one of our neighbors, an old lady, milling around the area. We walked two doors down, and sure enough, all of my plants were sitting on the lady’s front porch behind a locked gate. Let me type that again: two doors down, on the front porch. “She’s a little bit nuts, so wait until her son is home to ask for your plants back. Fabulous. First my neighbor steals my plants, and then I have to administer the smackdown to some poor senile old lady to get them back. I wasn’t sure if I had the stomach for it. Fortunately, my new roommate ran into the lady�s son and explained the situation. My flowers were waiting on the front porch when I got home. I like people again. I plan to buy ice cream for everyone.