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2019 The Year of Memory Recall


Nothing I create is ever perfect and I cannot wait any longer until it is- because that time will never come. Sometimes you just have to run with what you have.

So I’m going to focus on a single theme in my blog posts, presentations, and the like for 2019 The Year of Memory Recall. All using SQL Server database(s) and technologies of course. And virtual reality. And Unreal Engine. And, and, and.

What follows is an incomplete rough draft of links and resources and comments. I had to post something in December…

NOTE!!! I am currently re-reading Total Recall and writing down even more notes, thoughts and updates since the book was published ten years ago when I first read it.

My goals and motivations will become clearer as time goes on. Memory recall is the act of recalling existing memories. The active act of doing so helps to strengthen and keep the memories alive. Memories are critical to shaping us as individuals and it is something we can control.

I am marching to the beat of a different drummer down the road less traveled. This journey will not be easy.

I am building a memory recall system which I’ll be using the rest of my life. If I live to be 100, I will be recalling memories I created in 2019 and earlier. A dual system- external memories and internal memories. Hopefully a system I can give to my kids- something tangible like my grandfather’s tool set and the memories I have of him wielding those tools building and fixing things. And versions of this system other people can use too for memory recall.

Some Sci-Fi devices (time to build a few?)

Star Trek

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Lights_of_Zetar

Memory Alpha

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memory_Alpha

Uses a wiki encyclopedia. Created by fans, not by the creators of Star Trek.

Star Wars

Name of internal, real world tracking database (originally in FileMakerPro, one of my first database loves): Holocron; 55k entries. Clone Wars and Jedi Archives.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Wars_expanded_to_other_media#Holocron_database_and_canonicity

http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Holocron

Jor-El; father of Superman; Fortress of Solitude; memory crystals

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fortress_of_Solitude

John Percival Hackworth; ~Nell; A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer; nanotech; ractors; ractives

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Diamond_Age

Aleph; Mona Lisa Overdrive

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mona_Lisa_Overdrive Some Previous Real-World Attempts

Dymaxion Chronofile (analog scrapbook)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dymaxion_Chronofile

Memex (analog but using electronics and hints of a digital version)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/As_We_May_Think

Later Became Fully Digital

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MyLifeBits

And used on the recommendation by the late computer scientist Jim Gray, “…you need to use a database like Microsoft SQL Server.”

Finally! Books!

Total Recall: How the E-Memory Revolution Will Change Everything (focuses on digital storage for EVERYTHING; of course, at a cost)

https://www.amazon.com/Total-Recall-Memory-Revolution-Everything/dp/0525951342

Going back to MyLifeBits- the problem and challenge I had was that MyLifeBits was an academic project. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, it is just that many academic projects do not easily lend themselves to be quickly implemented or have commercial applications. I have only seen screen shots of some ERD(s) and not an open source sofware or script library to pick up the pieces where the researcher(s) left off for others to follow. Sadly, many of the companies in the book are no longer in business.

MyLifeBits accurately predicted the falling cost of storage. For example, as of this writing, Amazon Web Services offers Glacier storage. $.004 per GB per month.

https://aws.amazon.com/glacier/

For life however… and pricing is continuing to drop, including Azure.

The problem? One could just use all the free storage, correct?

“Is digital storage a privilege or a right?”

Neither- it is still a cost, and it is NOT free. The cost however has fallen to ridiculously low levels and continues to drop. Again, if you don’t pay your bills, it WILL get deleted.

So unless you start a trust fund of some kind and choose to pay money forever (!) to keep it alive, it will die and be gone forever.

The Future of Looking Back (Developer Reference) Microsoft Research

https://www.amazon.com/Future-Looking-Back-Developer-Reference/dp/0735658064 Why Isn’t Everyone Building Holocrons?

Because it is A LOT harder than writing and writing is already hard to do effectively. Heh, writing this blog post has taken more time and effort than I think it should.

For example, note taking. What if I told you that you had to create a video game every time you took notes? That’s crazy, no one wants to put that level of effort into note taking. But that is exactly how to create highly memorable content- a lot of work and concentration.

Software and security issues. Is the holocron a purely digital thing or is it a physical thing with digital storage? Or is it a purely analog storage device?

As a ~20 year SQL Server data professional, how can I use these ideas for myself? How can I build a holocron I can use time and time again to build new memories and re-visit old ones? How can I build something I can will as an heirloom or keepsake to my children or researchers? To build holocron(s) for my memoirs and for others.

Extreme Data Storage

Hybrid: Digital but stored using an analog medium DNA Storage

(1 exabyte per cubic millimeter!!!)

https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/project/dna-storage/ Analog Storage

Rosetta Project

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosetta_Project

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HD-Rosetta

http://norsam.com/rosetta.html Conclusion

There is no conclusion. My journey to build holocrons for myself and others is just beginning in 2019. I am running with what I have. Using data science to sift and categorize and store things is a hint of where I want to go with some of these technologies.

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