The aim of this paper is the discussion of a genealogy of the concept of digital memory in order to understand connexions and differences with the human memory, with which it shares the name. The digital definition of memory implies some reactive transformations also on the idea of human memory itself. The definition of digital memory within the history of ideas of computing between Turing and Licklider allows us to individuate the genealogic structure that produced the definition of digital memory as a representation of human memory. However they can’t be more different. We know that digital memory reliably stores any information (except in case of malfunctioning), but can retrieve it only if there is a precise enquiry that asks to sort out the expected stored data. Human memory instead is selective in itself, imprecise and unstable as many psychological studies can demonstrate, but at the same time it supports almost all the creative human activities, exactly for the serendipity of its continuously new associations between different elements. The use of the same word for the two elements has deep consequences also on the representation of the functioning of human memory, because some of the digital characteristics have a retroactive impact on the perception of memory in human beings. The final observations of the paper discusses the big expectations about Data science with reference to the possibility of substituting scientific modelling with data correlations. The trust in data power is one of the dangerous outputs of the mistaken identification between human and digital memory. This paper proposes a critical genealogy that can explain the reason of this mystification.

Numerico, T. (2017). La memoria e la rete. In a.B. Roberto Finelli (a cura di), Soglie del Linguaggio . Corpo, mondi, società (pp. 81-102). Roma : Roma Tre Press [10.13134/978-88-94885-19-4/7].

La memoria e la rete

Numerico,Teresa
2017

Abstract

The aim of this paper is the discussion of a genealogy of the concept of digital memory in order to understand connexions and differences with the human memory, with which it shares the name. The digital definition of memory implies some reactive transformations also on the idea of human memory itself. The definition of digital memory within the history of ideas of computing between Turing and Licklider allows us to individuate the genealogic structure that produced the definition of digital memory as a representation of human memory. However they can’t be more different. We know that digital memory reliably stores any information (except in case of malfunctioning), but can retrieve it only if there is a precise enquiry that asks to sort out the expected stored data. Human memory instead is selective in itself, imprecise and unstable as many psychological studies can demonstrate, but at the same time it supports almost all the creative human activities, exactly for the serendipity of its continuously new associations between different elements. The use of the same word for the two elements has deep consequences also on the representation of the functioning of human memory, because some of the digital characteristics have a retroactive impact on the perception of memory in human beings. The final observations of the paper discusses the big expectations about Data science with reference to the possibility of substituting scientific modelling with data correlations. The trust in data power is one of the dangerous outputs of the mistaken identification between human and digital memory. This paper proposes a critical genealogy that can explain the reason of this mystification.
978-88-94885-19-4
Numerico, T. (2017). La memoria e la rete. In a.B. Roberto Finelli (a cura di), Soglie del Linguaggio . Corpo, mondi, società (pp. 81-102). Roma : Roma Tre Press [10.13134/978-88-94885-19-4/7].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11590/327221
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