Media Technology MSc

MSc Thesis


Forgetick: Reminding to Forget in Digital Culture


Arne J. J. Boon




Ever since we can remember, humans forget. Forgetting has always been the norm and remembering the exception. Today this balance is shifting. In digital culture forgetting has become the exception and remembering the default. Though forgetting is not a human bug, it is a feature. That what is considered as memory failures are actually functions that are surprisingly vital to our everyday life. Opposed to the great technological advances that have been made on digital remembering, hardly any innovations were made on digital forgetting. What mechanisms of human forgetting are useful when applied in a digital context? The aim of this study is to make a contribution to the idea of introducing forgetfulness to digital memory. A USB memory stick that is able to forget is presented as test-bed environment for exploring forgetfulness in a standard Operating System. And we will define a theoretical framework which offers a set of principles for digital forgetting. How can we remind ourselves to forget in digital culture?

Full Reference

Arne J. J. Boon, "Forgetick: Reminding to Forget in Digital Culture", Master's Thesis for the Media Technology programme, Leiden University (The Netherlands), 2014