rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,

Stuff Again, and Nonsense

A couple of weeks ago I made my 4000th LJ post, and didn't notice. I'm losing track of such details. Other things of which I've lost track include many bits and pieces I've strewn across the Interwebs-- photo albums, truncated websites, weblog accounts, message board comments, website guest book entries, disused e-mail accounts and such. Knowing that I've got all these moribund or discarded things-- or non-things-- out there, and knowing that millions of other people probably have left similar trails of digital detritus in cyberspace, gives me a sense of the Internet as a virtual landfill, or perhaps the immense Superfund Site of our collective consciousness, destined to pollute human culture for ages to come.

But maybe I'm overestimating the durability of the technology and the economy which support this mass of e-trash and my small contribution to it. In a few years all this content might be wiped out by the collapse of the enterprises which provide it with space, or by the obsolescence of the technology on which it depends. I'm not sure if this prospect is more pleasing or distressing to me. I wouldn't be sorry to see most of the stuff I've put onto the heap go away, but I'm also aware that the disappearance of the heap itself would be a great loss for future generations of archaeologists who would likely find as much material for their edification in our digital castoffs as current archaeologists find in the kitchen middens and graffiti of ancient cultures.

I'm thinking I'd like to do something to clean up my own trail of junk, though. The problem is that I've long since lost the passwords to most of those accounts, and often the e-mail account with which I signed up as well, so I can neither log in so I can delete the accounts nor change the passwords so that I'd be able to log in. It's likely that this stuff will be hanging around for quite a while, unless the hosting companies delete it or lose it or just go out of business. It's said there are superstitious folk in the world who keep careful track of their nail and hair clippings lest some magician with evil intent gets hold of them for use in a voodoo doll. Though I'm disinclined to believe that I'd come to harm if somebone were sticking pins in a doll stuffed with my hair, I do have a suspicion that some of that stuff on the Internet might come back to bite me in the ass. Ah, progress.

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