Here are all eight pages of my results thrown together in a hefty 701KB file for you to download and ignore2. Basically it's showing everything that is said on this site, on my LinkedIn profile, and on Twitter. Exactly as promised, all of this data is supplied by me to the service. But there's something interesting on page 5 where my career is shown: it only goes back to September 2002. What the heck happened before then? I've been working nearly every day for the last 20 years. My first job was on the neighbor's farm at the tender age of 13. There must be some mistake!
Of course there's no mistake. I just don't talk about anything before September 2002 in detail. It's a part of my life that I am not particularly proud of, so why show off any bit of it? I've occasionally mentioned some of the facts, like how I lived and worked in the dirty city of Hamilton, Ontario. How I've had my home robbed not once, but twice. There have been posts from the time Reiko and I went to that part of the country to meet some of my ridiculously large family3. But nothing else.
This has me thinking about the digital archives that we will leave behind going forward. Will this be possible anymore? Will people who don't want their past following them around be able to sever the chains that follow?
When I moved to Vancouver in the summer of 2002 the Internet was still pretty young. Chat was done mostly through IRC and ICQ, but logs were either never collected or have been long since deleted. Social media sites didn't exist. There are a few references to some of the early sites I pissed around on in the late 90s, but almost every single one has disappeared. When GeoCities shut down that took one of my earliest4 attempts at blogging with it. Sure, I have backups5, but why put something like that online when I clearly don't want it to be there.
In order for people today to do the same they would need to completely rebuild their digital selves along with the physical, and that's not an easy thing to do. The urge to look back and see what people are doing would be great. Communicating with just one could blow the cover, and then all the drama and noise that we escaped from would come back in full force.
No thank you.
But, as time goes on, people don't care as much as they used to. In my case, a decade has passed since I left behind the idiotic, past version of me to become the man I am today. Is it time to fill in the lost chapters and reveal more of the story? It's certainly something to think about.