Wednesday, June 30, 2010


“Experience has fallen in value,” says Walter Benjamin. He was concerned about the negligence of experience memory in the flooding of the huge amount of data memory in the information age. People share massive information easily that has accumulated for a long time through the internet and books. By doing so, people might prefer the data information rather than the information based on experience. Possibly, the data information could be considered as a fruit of the technology society and could fit well in the information age. However, the convenience of the using the data information might not lead a happy life. Even if the experience information is acquired slowly, it gives humans some advantages that the acquirement process of the data information does not offer. Getting information by experience makes humans’ life more affluent by making social relationships, creative thinking, and humans’ characteristics.

“Many people seem to believe that remembering is simply a matter of willpower” (147)
“Every memoir argues that a personal memory is precious” (151)
“All the computers in the world cannot remedy it” (157)

Shame and Forgetting in the Information Age

The author, Charles Baxter, deals with data and experience in the information age. This essay is divided into five chapters. In the first chapter the writer describes the basic form about how people acquire information. That is Charles expresses information forming based on experience by narrating his brother’s story.
In the second chapter, the author implies what exactly he is going to talk about in this essay. Charles suggests the two notions of information, ‘data’ and ‘experience.’ As time goes on, information is getting more accumulating. ‘Data’ represents information accumulated by others’ experience and ‘Experience’ is based on one’s own experience acquired with like discussions. Information itself can work as one of forms to represent authority. One who got plenty of information does not have only knowledge but also possesses authority. Forgetting usually occurs in the process of acquiring data information, while experience is seldom forgotten. It does not mean experience is never erased in the memory. Just when experience is removed in the memory, it accompanies shame.
Charles Baxter warns the information age by borrowing Walter Benjamin’s opinion in the third chapter. Walter Benjamin expressed that people in the information age are rich in information but poor in experience. Forgetting occurs easier in the acquired data information than in the experience information.
In the forth chapter, the writer deals with how information is edited in the memoir. Autobiographical story needs to be summarized when being built because there is so much information. To summarize her/his story, the author takes bad memory away from their story. It would be based on ashamed experience or experience that tends to hide.
The purpose of this essay is, Charles Baxter tries to say that the data acquired by computers or books is forgotten easier than information learned by experience. Therefore, experience is important and gives human more valuable life.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Hi everyone:) My name is Hyerim from South Korea. I am 22 years old. I have two younger brothers, mom, and dad. I transferred here(business) from Korea. Nice to meet you guys!