Also rapidly disappearing are the generation of scientists, engineers and programmers who made the first computer games. Right now, Scott said, you can go to the Computer History Museum to play Spacewar, one of the earliest video games. Sometimes, on Saturdays, the original programmer Steve “Slug” Russell himself will be there.

“He will play you, and he will kick your ass,” Scott said, “and you will feel humble. It’s like a caveman showed up and took you out.”

“But they will not be around forever, and I worry about that. … Because life is a lossy format.”
2015. Hall, Charlie. The future of games history is workplace theft. Polygon

Emphasis added.

There is
an inherent loss
with whatever we do.

New items we make or procure, we as a collective whole lose something in exchange. For every recieve, a take. Someone’s death to a couple’s newborn. For physics, we call this conservation of mass and conservation of energy; for social science, reciprocation. In simple terms, whatever we have was will have come from somewhere or something else, and everything has a price.

Let us go through the play of words.

Because life is a lossy format.
Scott, Jason. 2015


adjective: lossy

    having or involving the dissipation of electrical or electromagnetic energy.
    of or relating to data compression in which unnecessary information is discarded.

From Google.

Every physical object undergoes degredation of some sort through use, misuse, abuse, and disuse. Stretching the definition a little, we can call this as the slow loss of structural integrity of an object to the point of unusability. This applies to every single thing, and/or abstraction in life. Cars rust, neurons degrade, emotions fade. A necessary concept everyone has to know

Memory is very lossy. To avoid overloading our brains, we only keep select moments of our lives as points of interest and points of remembrance. Lossy in a sense, it discards unnecessary information, and lossy where we forget. Our lives are lived with the memories we have, replaying back in time the perceptions we had. Emotion, feelings coming from our six five senses, regret, satisfaction, and everything else in between converging to a singular point of our existence.

We lose everything in death.
What we leave behind stays, scattered with everyone else connected with you, carrying a piece of your existence pooled together in your wake. People who are indirectly connected through that mutual friend are brought together, sharing that experience, gradually filling in pieces of your life through shared experiences with other people. Unfortunately, that puzzle will never be whole. Again, memory is lossy. We lose pieces, you lose pieces. Let us accept the fact that we will never know what those missing pieces are. But in the best case, we have a good enough approximation of what it was. An inherent characteristic of a lossy codec like memory is attempting to give a faithful represetation of, what-described will never be exactly what it was.


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