I have an archive of my own email going back 18 years, containing 450,000 messages. One day I decided to make it searchable. Not half-searchable but fully, dynamically, programmably searchable.
My big idea was: If I can quickly look through all of my old emails I will be able to observe how my thoughts have evolved. I’ll learn something fundamental about myself and how I’ve grown as a person —for example, the difference between being in my early 20s and being 40.
This seemed like an interesting thing to do, so I did it. But the experiment was a failure, and not very edifying.