Communication technologies and the memory of society
Modern society is a society of forgetting, at least according to Elena Esposito. According to the Luhmann scholar, the modern media are machines that for centuries have particularly increased the ability to erase data. A high point is now said to have been reached by the computer media, which, according to Esposito, do not record content, only decisions. From this follows – once again – the announcement of a media revolution of the Western world view, to which distinctions such as subject and object or this world and the other world are lost, which incidentally explains the booming market for esotericism.
That there is a connection between the communication media of a society and its ability to remember things was already suspected by Plato in the Phaidros-Dialogue. The invention of letters would instill oblivion – in the souls of learners – because, trusting in the memory capacity of writing, they could neglect their own memory capacity. The Italian sociologist Elena Esposito would probably agree with Plato, even if her new book Social Forgetting is concerned neither with people nor with their souls, but only with communicative structures, in which Esposito finds the memory of society. The modern communication media, she believes, are the "tools of forgetting" – and also the increasingly "increasingly sophisticated forms of information storage are also" "first of all a form of forgetting" represented.