The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Bob Stepno § The structure of journalism today / 2014-03-10 18:42:32

Everybody Needs One

Sometimes a single detail makes an entire story. I think that’s the case with Jodi Kantor’s profile of Richard Holbrooke:

(Many people have personal trainers; Mr. Holbrooke has a personal archivist.)


I was actually thinking about archives this morning, after reading this bit from Tim’s Whitman post:

But Whitman’s notebooks at this time are filled with images, just jottings, of these people, what they’re doing, what they look like, what their names are.

Cross-reference with Michael Bierut’s wonderful stack of notebooks. I love the idea of keeping a durable, written record like this… but I am congenitally incapable of using and keeping notebooks. I’m way more comfortable with digital notes — emails to myself, short little Google Docs, etc.

What’s a good compromise? Is there some easy way to physical-ize those notes? Maybe I need an app that literally scans my stuff for certain kinds of documents, saves them, and prints ’em out en masse.

I mean, until I get a personal archivist, anyway.


Dan says…

Ummmmm why?

Oh, because physical stuff sticks around. I mean, maybe all this digital material we’re producing will surprise me and end up being really durable, but at this point, I’m assuming it will be lost or irretrievable — superceded by new formats, new systems — in, say, 2059 or 2109.

Well, let’s imagine the following service — an impersonal archivist.

There are already sites like Mint that track all of your online spending and finances. Imagine if they (or a similar service) could also track your other online records, definable up to… whatever. Each month, they print everything out on archival-grade paper (you can log in and delete stuff you don’t want hard copies of), organize it according to a pre-determined tab-color-whatever scheme. All you have to do is put it in your cabinet — “January 2009.”

It’s like a vanity press for your entire life!

The beauty is, you still have everything on paper — it’s just not stray, disorganized paper that interrupts you all the time, ends up covered in coffee, usw.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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