Is there an upside to deleting our files and photos, instead of just backing everything up?
Why I don’t use Google Photos anymore
A random thought when using Google Photos the other day:
- Backing up your photos was always such a pain in the ass with external hard drives and such. Even more complicated when backing up your film negatives.
- When Google Photos came along, everyone yelled “hallelujah!” because it automatically backed up ALL of your photos, and made it super easy. Plug and play.
But the philosophical question is this:
Should we backup all of our photos and files? What are the downsides of backing up everything? And what are the hidden costs, especially when this service is “free”?
Which made me think of this pretty interesting idea:
Perhaps instead of seeking to backup and organize all our stuff— we should strive to DELETE superfluous things from our life.
Why are we so afraid to delete stuff?
My theory: we are afraid to delete photographs (memories) because we think when we delete our photo-memories, we are somehow deleting ourselves.
But then again — why this excess self-concern for “ourselves”? I believe in deep individualism, but perhaps at this point — we have become megalomaniacs (too concerned with our own personal well-being and ego— for very superficial aims).
Which made me also wonder:
Perhaps the purpose of the camera for the future isn’t to record memories, but to create art-works which are separate from ourselves.
And also which takes me down another random rabbit hole:
What if we could invent a camera, or create the purpose of a camera in which it allowed us to FORGET?
For example, shooting all your family photos on film— and figuring out how to process and scan them later. Or even experimenting shooting all your photos for a day with a film camera WITHOUT any film in it!
A camera app which self-deletes
Or a new smartphone camera app which deletes all the photos you’ve shot that day at the end of the day — which forces you to do “something” with the photos you’ve shot that day (process them, organize them, etc). This is similar to some writing apps out there which delete your text if you stop writing for a certain period of time (the most dangerous writing app).
How does the human brain work?
Perhaps the human brain works by FORGETTING and “deleting” superfluous ideas and options, instead of “adding” knowledge and information.
This is very similar to Nassim Taleb’s notion of “via negativa”— that our knowledge/wisdom actually grows when we SUBTRACT ignorance and weak ideas, instead of “adding” good ideas.
This to me is also fascinating from a philosophical perspective on art —
Perhaps the best art-making process is to SUBTRACT superfluous elements from your image. Or great design is about SUBTRACTION/pruning excess, rather than adding bloat, “feature creep”, and superfluous clutter/crap.
Have you seen the new interior of a Tesla Model 3?
The first time I sat inside the interior of a new Tesla Model 3, it was one of the most beautiful and zen experiences of my life. No superfluous clutter in the cabin. Also interestingly enough — the interior cabin actually felt MORE spacious than the interior of the larger Tesla Model S (because of the lack of clutter in the Model 3– whereas the Model S still seems to be more of a traditional car layout).
Which made me realize:
Perhaps instead of striving to make our things bigger, we can make it seem “bigger” by simply subtracting the superfluous.
Also from an economics perspective, designing and producing things with LESS superfluous features or decor is a lot cheaper! (I’m anti-rococo/unnecessary flourishing designs).
The beauty of deleting
- To become more productive in your life, delete superfluous apps and crap from your phone. My simple tip is this: everyday, delete one app from your phone. Keep doing this until you literally have no apps— make it a fun challenge and game for yourself!
- With design ethos, strive to STRIP superfluous flourish and details, instead of adding unnecessary crap.
- Make a regular effort to delete old files from your computer instead of seeking to backup everything. Be very selective what you decide to keep or ditch. And the point isn’t to have 0 stuff — the point is to have a FEW essential things you really need.
- For photos, only keep photos which are meaningful to you. If you have a difficult time ditching photos, upload it to arsbeta.com to gain assistance from the community.