2020-05-26

[Technology] Data Debt: part 3

While in school, and for a period after, I neglected my systems of organization.  I continued to accumulate information, but without spending effort to manage it.  This has resulted in a large data debt. 

I have
  • years of e-mail, chat and text logs in various formats that I want to de-duplicate and consolidate.
  • thousands of screenshots and saved images of memes and wallpapers and artwork from some of my favourite video games and media sitting in massive folders.
  • years of photos grouped just by date taken (surprisingly useful) with no indication of people present (actually not a huge problem given Google Photos)
  • thousands of To Do items spread across various formats and systems, that have no priority, they just end up in an endless queue that only ever grows.
  • old websites, blogs, accounts that are redundant or obsolete.
  • projects that need starting, video games that need completing.
Part of my problem is hope.  I have hope.  Hope that this can all be managed.  Hope because I have the skills necessary.

Part of my problem is that I am late.  There are good opportunities, especially at the time of transitioning from one process to another, or at the time I acquire a record, to act then and keep-up.  They were missed.  And now I have debt

I just need the time.  So here I am, stealing an hour here, an hour there, out of my busy days, not dealing with problems of today, but dealing with a self-created problem of years past, for a goal that, like my dad's, may be pointless.

How many photos do I ever review?
How many e-mails will I ever re-read?
How many ToDo items do I ever expect to complete?

My alternative is recency.  Focus on what is recent and applicable to me today.  But I know I can do it, and I know that, like my father sifting through his decades of paper data, there are gems to be found.  Memories to recall.  People that I do not want to lose as the unfrequented connections in my brain fade to make room for more recent experience.

I have created a large data debt, one that might be manageable with the programming skills I have, and maybe more manageable as AI continues to improve.  But does it matter?  Probably not.  Just my vanity.

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