Since memory became converted into electromagnetic impulses, we don’t have to remember anything.
I belong to the last generation of analog, or better to say pre-digital humans. I was trained and educated to use memory for every aspect of living, in my public and private life. In fact, my destiny depended on my capacity to memorize things. Further on, becoming a creative person, required more than just memorizing facts; it demanded lateral, critical and alternative ways of thinking. On top of this, creative act called for solitude and lots of wasted time.
All the above generates distinctive personality and lifestyle of the “artist”. Artists were supposed to retreat from society, waste their years isolated in studios, sketching, thinking and generating some kind of distinctive style. No wonder, they were perceived as strange, romanticized or undermined, depending on circumstances and cultural milieu.
Now, everything is different. No more solitude and isolation! No more wasted time! Screen is the virtual window and the entire world’s knowledge parades below it. Google is Earth and Earth is Google. Web is a latent memory just a click away. Why waste time to remember anything and what for? Why compose essays when everything has been already (and much better) written. Take picture of what? Paint, play music, dance, make movie, perform, dress, recite…what for? Everyone knows that everything has been already done (many times and in many ways), so why bother? Everyone also knows that virtuality brings instant gratifications through glimpses of seduction, which stimulates our mind like circus attractions, cabinets of curiosity, parades of exotic and unusual, over-saturated, disasters…
Before it gets (virtually) depressing, it is important to remind ourselves on two most important things: solitude and nature. Solitude is epiphany of loneliness and nature is the epiphany of learning. Believe it or not, they can generate a beautiful mind.