Thursday, August 6, 2009

Triumph For Pack Rats

I'm a pack rat, and not just the kind spouses complain about when it comes time to clean the garage. I'm the pick-up-everything-in-sight-because-one-day-this-moment-and-object-could-define-my-life sort of pack rat. In other words, my compulsion for keeping is really. really. bad.

Then I discovered the hard drive. I picked up fewer rocks and started collecting music and then words and pictures. I still pick up especially beautiful rocks here and there and often find myself slipping objects in my pocket so that I can hold a moment forever, but the tendencies that probably would have buried me in objects has shifted toward the computable intangibles.

When I started getting tangled up in the web I transfered my pack rat tendency toward the world of links. I tried to collect them in browser favorites but of course most are lost. Many of the sites would be changed or expired by now even if I had all those links, but the ones that are left would serve as a sort of continuous time capsule diary for what I found relevant and profound at the time. I would love to look back on the sites I adored back when the internet chugged along dial up telephone lines at 56k, but alas, all that is gone.

I'm going to sound like a blatant product promotion here, but the moment I found Read It Later I knew that I'd found another brilliant tool to cure my satiated bookmarks bar and the sorrow of losing old Favorites. I no longer needed to send myself links of articles I didn't have time to read at the specific moment when I found them and I knew that I'd never have to write a URL on the back of my hand again. Instead I use Read It Later, a site that stores every article I haven't had time to read and archives the ones I've checked off.

Convenient, of course. But that time capsule of a diary I wrote about a second ago. I can finally make it. And someday when I'm navigating the web on whatever is going to come a couple generations after Google Wave (a tool that's supposed to change our way of using the internet) I'll look back and laugh.

"You were concerned about DDoS attacks on Twitter and figuring out why the biggest growth demographic for tweets was not teenagers, but adults," I'll say. "Because really, the important thing all along were the rocks that made the ground you're standing on."

Miike Snow's music will capture you faster than you could read any description I could give. Check the trio out here.

Miike Snow - "Animal"