In Kenneth Goldsmith’s Wasting Time on the Internet, he writes that “Our Browser History Is the New Memoir”:
If you want to know anything about me, what I was thinking, what I was interested in, exactly what I did or was going to do, check out my browser history: my passions, my hatreds, my crushes, my hopes—my intellectual and emotional life—all there before me, going back years and years, in all its embarrassment and all its riches.
I have a laptop that I use sporadically, so every time I open it, the tabs in my internet browser show me who I was 24, 48, or even 168 hours ago. It’s a tiny form of (unexpected) time travel. (When you dip into an old diary, you’re expecting to take a little time trip…)
Years ago, I figured out a way to help my future self:
1. Put a Dairy Queen Butterfinger Blizzard in the freezer
2. Forget that it’s there.
3. Open the freezer.
How funny that forgetting — something we mostly see as a bad thing — sets the stage for later surprise and delight…