Journaling II

Considering that a major source of information about the city of Athens and, indeed, cities in general is the notes of a traveler, I can’t help but wonder if, a thousand years from now when everyone’s mind-linked to the Almighty Interweb, this will be a source on the city of Athens in, I don’t know, the Era of Early Internet/Late Space Age. If that’s the case…oh dear, there are going to be some major gaps to fill. Like, you know, the one that explains how the day of an ordinary Athenian is…. At least, I can say that nothing opens for dinner until 8 p.m., and that there’s siesta—the silence during which is legally enforced—from 2-5.30 p.m., and that lunch cafés don’t open until noon, and that only a few sweetshops and the cafés are open on Sundays (so the one all-week supermarket that’s open is horribly crowded on Sundays—although that means little because it’s so tiny).

Weird thing about the weather: we get south winds from the Sahara, so there’s an unholy cloud of dust in the air—we climbed Likavettos Hill today and there was a brown haze over the city (not to mention the white one from the day being stupidly cloudy…a semi-official decision to climb the hill again on a clear day has been made (allegedly, it will then be possible to see the water and islands, in addition to the whole of Athens). Needless to say, my photographs from today suck.

So far, four days, 279 photos. With a digital, it’s necessary to take multiple shots and hope that at least one comes out alright, though, so lots of repeats (and a bunch that I want to stitch together).

What I find more intriguing, though, is the fact that we’re once again moving towards a system of lessened waste. The remains from the Mycenean civilizations, the “Dark Ages,” etc. tell us little because there’s so few. And the use of papyrus to replace the inscriptions and tablets of the Assyrians completely decimated the amount of information we have about them—unfortunately, the inevitable assumption is always that there was less going on during these kinds of times, even though the empire collapsed during the latter phase. But anyway. Are we really leaving less of a trail these days? I’d call what we have ‘cyberwaste.’ Yes, the servers in which this information is ultimately encoded do go bad over time, but there a trillion backups and replacements. Information seems like it has a far greater chance of having a continuous flow these days…but that’s probably what the ancients thought (when they considered it at all).

In as few as 300 years, this text may become unreadable because of its archaic speak, or maybe Skynet will finally come together and future humans’ll be forced to destroy every trace of Google (god, where else would all that data come together into a seething, evil consciousness), and then there will be nothing left.

Me, though, I’m satisfied as long as I have an account of what I’ve done. Really, a lot of this stuff only matters to me.

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