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Fully automated hauntology.

I do wonder how authors dealt with the memories of cities and the ever-changing fabric of their ever-present selves in the days before we had Google’s Street View, and specifically now the history slider, letting you slip back and back to see what it looked like the last time one of those camera-mounted cars wandered these same streets, or the time before that: oh, look! you say, cruising past your own house on the monitor of the computer within it. Our car was parked right out front that day. What a curious sense of pride. (—If I were in my office instead, I might look up to see the enormous map of Ghana on the wall, and decide to walk the streets of Accra for just a few minutes to clear my head; we can do that, sort of, now.) —But there are costs, and slippages: this morning I was trying to find an appropriate bus stop to loiter at, needing to catch the no. 6 bus up MLK to (eventually) Vanport; I was reminded they’re building a building there now, where once had only been a parking lot, and a Dutch Bros. coffee cart, and happened upon a view of the construction site from April of 2019, when the first floor had been set in concrete and rebar, waiting for six more wood-framed storeys to balloon above it, but I stepped sideways, into another stream of views, that only offered September or June 2019 (the wood having bloomed now clad in brick, or what passes for brick these days) or August 2017 (the lot, the coffee, the light already different, as if lenses have changed enough since then to be noticed), and so here I am, with a morning spent bootlessly wandering over and over the same corner and streetfront, trying to find the precise spot from which I can once more catch that bygone glimpse of April, of last year.

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