As our hard drives fill up with thousands then tens and hundreds of thousands of digital snapshots, we’re all going to face the same basic challenges as the Bettmann Archive. Of course, you won’t haul 19 semitrailers full of your decaying family photos into cold storage, as the Bettmann did in 2001. But you can expect to go clicking through folder after folder of pixelated images, trying to find the one where Aunt Rose put on a silly inflatable life preserver in the summer of 1999.
A digital camera is an enticement to take more snaps than you can keep track of. Why not shoot a few more pictures of Aunt Rose to see if you can get one that’s slightly more flattering to her – how to put it? – irregular profile. You don’t even need to carry a camera; you can squeeze off a stream of shots with your cell phone and send them to your inbox. With the price of digital storage plummeting even as our time seems to become ever more valuable, it’s cheaper to store the lot of them than to weed out the clunkers. —David Weinberger —Point. Shoot. Kiss It Good-Bye. (Wired)