““I forgot to remember to forget,” Elvis Presley sang in 1955. I know that it was 1955 because I just Googled the title and clicked on the link to the Wikipedia entry for the song.
How cool is that? Not long ago, I would have had to actually remember that Elvis recorded the song as part of his monumental Sun Records sessions that year. Then I would have had to flip through a set of histories of blues and country that sit on the shelf behind me. It might have taken five minutes to do what I did in five seconds. I almost don’t need my own memory any more.
That strikes many of us as a good thing: the costs low, the benefits high. We can be much more efficient and comprehensive now that a teeming collection of documents sits just a few keystrokes away.”