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Why digitalisation gives rise to ‘memory wars’

It’s a common place to recognise that digitalisation makes it easier to encounter the views of others, particularly those who we might not find within our locality. However an important dimension of this is how it also encourages competition between views, as tensions which might not have previously been ‘activated’ become so. I thought ‘memory wars’ was a really evocative concept for a particular class of the ensuing disputes. By Andrew Jakubowicz, on loc 1791-1806 in Save As  Digital Memories, edited by Hoskins et al:

Many protagonists in these memory wars look for ways to foreground particular perspectives or truth claims, and elbow out their competitors. Arguments over the authentic historical record are particularly volatile in ethno-cultural and religio-political situations, where ‘truth’ becomes a contested space.

User-created content brings into stark relief the more general argument about memory being a process of the here and now, in which the past is sequestered into defended packages of claims to truth. Because digital technology in a sense democratises the process of memory-legitimation, or at least reduces to near-zero the costs of entry, it fundamentally transforms the dynamic of testing truth claims and securing

Categories: Communicative Escalation and Cultural Abundance: How Do We Cope? Philosophy of Technology The Technological History of Digital Capitalism

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