A project to record everything we do in life

Alec Wilkinson in The New Yorker:

Screenhunter_07_may_31_0142October arrived in 1998, and Gordon Bell went paperless, after hearing from a professor at Carnegie Mellon who was engaged in a project to scan a million books and post them online. The professor, a friend of Bell’s named Raj Reddy, had called to ask if he could scan and post Bell’s books, including one on how to start a high-tech business. Bell said, “Of course.” This, by the way, is the Gordon Bell, aged seventy-two, of Microsoft, who has been described as “the Frank Lloyd Wright of computers”; who, at the Digital Equipment Corporation, was among the first engineers to fashion computers into a network; who led the National Science Foundation effort to link the world’s supercomputers—the Internet. The Gordon Bell, incidentally, who believes that one day houses will have no windows, so it won’t matter where they are—screens on the walls will display whatever we want to look at. (Bell would like the screens in his dining room to display the view from a window of the Orient Express; he would also like to hear the train’s sound effects.) The Gordon Bell who, owing to Reddy’s call, and by means of custom programs and gadgets, now collects the daily minutiae of his life so emphatically that he owns the most extensive and unwieldy personal archive of its kind in the world.

More here.