“The dawning of the Bad Memory Century will have vast consequences
for the social fabric and the international balance of power.
International relations experts will notice that great powers can be
defined by their national forgetting styles. Americans forget their
sins. Russians forget their weaknesses. The French forget that they’ve
forgotten God. And, in the Middle East, they forget everything but
There will be new social movements and
causes. The supermarket parking lots will be filled with cranky
criminal gangs composed of middle-aged shoppers looking for their cars.
As it becomes clear that a constant stream of blog posts and e-mails
decimates the capacity for recall, people will be confronted with the
modern Sophie’s choice — your BlackBerry or your mind.”
–The riveting David Brooks, writing in the NYTimes about why right now, “in the era of an aging population, memory is the new sex.”