The Terminator searched for Sarah Connor’s address in a phonebook. Somehow he didn’t have a photo of her nor knew what she looked like. A mistake like this would not pass today, but did this bother anyone in 1984? I don’t think it did. Photos weren’t very important then – we took a few of them, they wore out, and we threw them away. We felt fine relying on personal memory or stories to recall information, so we comfortable forgetting things and letting them die. As I was watching The Terminator tonight, I remembered thinking this way too, and how long it’s been since I thought that way.
Technological innovation has allowed us to resist human forgetfulness and death. We take millions of photos, keep our files forever, and we seem convinced that immortality is not only possible, but that it’s a moral imperative. Cameron imagined a future where even robots let memories die, which is a window into seeing how people thought in 1984. Show this film to your children and grandchildren.