Thursday, 26 January 2012


Just recently, European Union courts have ruled that individuals have the right to be forgotten (DE), to truly have their auto-biographies expunged from the internet--at least, what people have contributed themselves to social-networking sites. It would not be feasible to have one's record totally cleared, but hosts of the bigger gatherings are obliged to remove, retaining no copy, remove material at the user's request, for instance, old images from parties that might prove embarrassing or incriminating, regrettable and untoward announcements or opining or one's entire profile, although there is a definite persistence of memory given all the connections that one forms with automatic gestures, fast and deep. Lethe was one of the legendary rivers of the Underworld of Greek myth, and to drink of its waters helped the recently arrived to forget and lose some of the sting associated with no longer being among the living, and according to some traditions, the forgetting waters that ensured reincarnated souls could not recall their past lives. Ownership of one's personal and private memories is an essential part of one's selfhood, but there are times when one does need to dull and filter recollections (verbatim memory of the wonderful, banal and the debilitatingly mortifying) with some selectivity in order to function, and it would be equally torturous to know that our imperfect memories would always be bailed out by such a permanent and unwavering record.