Home

Late yesterday night, not quite ready to turn in,  I came across a talk on TED by Jonathan Harris. An hour later I was still riveted to the screen having followed a link to one of his other projects.

The initial TED talk is about how we are increasingly expressing ourselves through websites, blogs and social media, and thereby leaving behind footprints. ‘Footprints that tell stories of …moments of self-expression’.

Jonathan writes computer programs which collect and study these expressions of feelings on the web, then organises them into dazzling visual displays which are actually complex data bases. It is a brilliant talk and concept, but it is not what brought the instant of insight and recognition to me at 2 AM.

One of Harris’s recent projects was, starting with his 30th birthday, to take a photo a day for a year, write a short story about it, then post it every night before going to bed. Watching the short film about it on his site is an amazing experience, they are great photos and each photo is shown for a second only, compacting a year’s worth of impressions into a few minutes.

It started out straightforward enough, but towards the end Jonathan had some important insights which exactly correspond with some real reservations I’ve been having about living life so publicly on the internet. And which have time and again prevented me from joining Facebook or Twitter. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements