Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Nov 2008 09:13 UTC, submitted by irbis
In the News What stands a better chance of surviving 50 years from now, a framed photograph or a 10-megabyte digital photo file on your computer's hard drive? The concern for archivists and information scientists is that, with ever-shifting platforms and file formats, much of the data we produce today could eventually fall into a black hole of inaccessibility.
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XX not XXI century is a "dark age"
by areks on Mon 10th Nov 2008 10:37 UTC
areks
Member since:
2008-11-10

This can be a problem in short time like 20-30 years but not in long. If in 200-300 years some archaeologist will like to read any data from now (of course if the medium like disc or CD survives) it will be not problem at all. It does not matter if specification for this file is open or completely lost the power of computers will be so big what they will "brake" the code in minutes.
It is like with Egyptians hieroglyphs. Nobody was using this language for thousand of years but we are able to read it now.

The XX century will be a "dark age". Just in the beginning of the century we changed technology of making paper, and it is 100% sure what all books printed in XX century (and now) will completely fall apart after 100-200 years.

Reply Score: 2

hobgoblin Member since:
2005-07-06

thanks to french soldiers finding a stone with engravings of the same text in two egyption variants and one greek...

Reply Parent Score: 4

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

You ever hear of the Rosetta stone? The only reason we are able to read that language is because we found a common story in the language that helped us decipher it. Otherwise we still wouldnt be able to read it. Information loss is a real and long existing problem. The Romans had running water and roads the likes of which didnt get built again until well past 1800.

Reply Parent Score: 3

unclefester Member since:
2007-01-13

You are totally of the mark. No language can be translated simply by raw processing power. This is why Navajo speakers were used for top secret radio communications in WW2. The Welsh Guards also communicated by radio in Welsh in Bosnia because they knew that the Serbs couldn't understand Welsh.

The Egyptian heiroglyphs were only translated because they discovered the Rosetta Stone in the early 1800s. This carried exactly the same passage written in three different languages (two which were well known) including the heiroglyphs. It was then realised that the heiroglyphs were a written form of Coptic a language still spoken widely in Egypt. This eventually made further translations possible.

Reply Parent Score: 4