Ari L. Goldman’s essay, “Dying To Get Into The Paper” (Text/Context issue on Loss, August) observes the obituary has retained full value at a time of reduced newspaper business. The expression “from dust to dust” coldly shows the transformed warmth of life reabsorbed into God’s nature. What can one say of the record of a life reduced to computerized information? The burning of books to destroy their contents and the author’s identity is dramatic, confronting. Can this be said about the deletion of an electronic entry? It disappears into nothing, not even producing ash.
Concrete memorials of the past found in archaeological digs stir our imagination and emotions. Digital information will disappear into history when technology moves on to new realms. The memory of Tutankhamen will outlive ours.