A sweeping exploration of the history of memory and human civilizationdiv div div Memory makes us human. No other animal carries in its brain so many memories of such complexity nor so regularly revisits those memories for happiness, safety, and to accomplish complex tasks. Human civilization continues because we are able to pass along memories from one person to another, from one generation to the next.The Guardian of All Thingsis scientific history that takes us on a 10,000 year old journey replete with incredible ideas, inventions, and transformations. From cave drawings to oral histories to libraries to the internet,The Guardian of All Thingsis the history of how humans have relentlessly pursued new ways to preserve and manage memory, both within the human brain and is a series of inventions external to it. Michael Malone looks at the story of memory, both human and mechanical, and the historic turning points in that story that not only changed our relationship to memory, but also changed us as human beings.
"[T]he story of memory... is the story of freedom," writes ABCNews.com technology writer Malone (The Future Arrived Yesterday) in this sweeping and ambitious story. He traces the spread of memory and the ability to record memories from the individual to the tribe, to rulers and bureaucrats, to everyone-the "democratization of memory." Conducting us on a tour of the development of human memory, Malone explains its forms and function, from Neanderthals, who, he speculates, had tremendous sensory capacity but no language to capture their perceptions for the future, to the invention of writing, which enabled societies to preserve memories; Cicero, who developed an art of memory so he could recall his long speeches; and the Middle Ages, when human memory functioned as a mechanism for selecting, translating, compiling, and interpreting newly rediscovered ancient knowledge. By the 21st century, humans have the capacity to control memory in ways previously unimaginable: through the use of computers and memory implants. Malone celebrates the power of memory and the freedom it provides us while at the same time cautioning us to guard our memories and protect the record of our time in the world. Agent: Jim Levine, Levin Greenberg Literary Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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St. Martin's Press
August 21, 2012
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