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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: A Traveler's Library. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

A Traveler's Library
by possibly noteworthy at 8:34 am EST, Feb 18, 2007

Read books.

We all have a long, imaginary shelf of masterpieces we have not read. For years I was embarrassed by my ignorance of War and Peace, and Tolstoy's massive novel had sat on the shelf, glaring at me. Not until the mid-80s, when I passed a lovely spring on the Amalfi Coast of Italy in a tiny rented house, did I find myself ready to tackle it. I would rise at dawn (we had two babies then) and take my coffee to the terrace. There was a grove of lemon trees behind me, and I could look all the way down the coast from Amalfi to Salerno, the sunlight on the sea like scattered coins. I was absorbed for two months in that astonishing novel, making my first acquaintance with Pierre, Natasha, Bolkonsky, and the rest of Petersburg society. Forever I will associate that story with that place, and that time in my life.

I doubt you'll ever find yourself associating a YouTube video with a place and time in your life.

RE: A Traveler's Library
by dmv at 11:04 am EST, Feb 18, 2007

possibly noteworthy wrote:

I doubt you'll ever find yourself associating a YouTube video with a place and time in your life.

I have a distinct memory of the first place and time I saw I remember the struggle to download, then find the right machine to watch it on, etc. Not quite the YouTube experience, but now it probably would have been.

I also have associations with watching episodes of "The Wire" on my wife's laptop in our oceanfront bungaloo on our honeymoon. Not quite YouTube, either.

Most YouTube does not have the production values that would translate to a classic. Remembering time and place with a viral or homemade movie is like remembering where you read a pulp paperback or newspaper... if it resonated, great, but otherwise they are disposable media for disposable time.

RE: A Traveler's Library
by Decius at 11:52 pm EST, Feb 18, 2007

possibly noteworthy wrote:
Read books. I doubt you'll ever find yourself associating a YouTube video with a place and time in your life.

Well, if for no other reason than a book requires such a large investment of time while also failing to fully consume the senses that it becomes associated with the time and place in which it was read, regardless of how good it was. The most important events of this century are those for which everyone recalls exactly where they were when the news reached them because the emotional impact of the event was so extreme that the memories are burned brightly into everyone's cortext... some mechansim in the mind designed to learn how to avoid bad experiences is triggered by the worst national tragedies... The Kennedy Assasination, the Challenger Explosion, September 11th... It is inevitable with the poliferation of citizen journalism that some future historical event will reach you first as a short video on the Internet. You'll have just a few minutes to view it before the servers become overloaded. You'll tell your grandchildren where you were when you got the link.

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