Institutionalised Memory Loss

[Also via Apothecary][via MetaFilter]. The Memory Hole: named after the text disposal chute in Orwell’s 1984, this site notes and preserves expunged information. While the theme is mostly political (unacknowledged reversed policies, unpalatable war information, etc) it also covers wider cultural stuff: for instance, Sunflower, the character Disney removed from Fantasia and later denied having existed; the cigarette removed from a Beatles poster; and Oliver Sacks on recovering forgotten medical knowledge. (The Sacks item comes from a nice Wired biographical feature, The Fully Immersive Mind of Oliver Sacks).

Coincidentally business memory loss is an issue for customers in my day job at the moment. Is it accidental or a “convenient” re-writing of history, or simply compression of the messy – see previous post – I guess it depends whether you’re a cock-up or conspiracy person. Another issue I have is “mis-reporting” – systems which log useage of time and resources are often constrained by budgetary allocation rules. Recorded history is often (normally) lies, even though no-one involved intends to deceive. Same story as DeLorean’s “Committees of moral men often make immoral decisions.”

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