Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 9th Dec 2009 23:28 UTC
Editorial Now that everything is moving to the cloud internet, you might think that data loss is a thing of the past. Sadly, as the past few months have taught us, this actually isn't true; we first had the Microsoft/Danger disaster, and now we have Palm and Sprint facing a class-action lawsuit over data loss for webOS phones. All this raises the question: how safe is it to store your precious data on the internet, and do you really trust the internet?
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RE: Comment by DigitalAxis
by sbergman27 on Thu 10th Dec 2009 05:16 UTC in reply to "Comment by DigitalAxis"
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I work with a lot of people who are worried about the potential digital dark age- either from file formats no longer becoming readable, or data simply disappearing due to disk failures... Already it's hard to read data taken on punch cards or magnetic tape, but books from ancient history still exist.

Perhaps we judge the durability of works from ancient history based upon what has survived, and that of modern works based upon what might be lost.

The vast majority of ancient works are lost to us. At best, we know of them by a reference in something that survived. Most have simply been lost.

Personally, I'd consider the loss of the great majority of today's blogs to be a plus. Still, I suppose we should preserve even the tripe of today, so that future generations will at least have a fair warning as to what not to repeat. Not that they're likely to listen...

Edited 2009-12-10 05:17 UTC

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RE[2]: Comment by DigitalAxis
by DigitalAxis on Thu 10th Dec 2009 08:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by DigitalAxis"
DigitalAxis Member since:

Well, Sturgeon's Law ("99% of everything is cr4p") notwithstanding, I'm not looking at this from a perspective of "oh well, it happened in the past" but more of an "how can we prevent this from happening to us now". Future archaeologists will probably both thank us, even if they laugh at Geocities. Even on a shorter term it'd be nice to be sure my CD-Rs from 2001 are still readable, or the consolidated DVD-R from 2006.

Reply Parent Score: 3

sbergman27 Member since:

Well, Sturgeon's Law ("99% of everything is cr4p") notwithstanding...

Bergman's corollary: The percentage of published works which are not crap decreases as publishing becomes more and more accessible.

Maybe we should concentrate on the non-crap. If Wikipedia and Twitter were both drowning in the river, and you could only save one...

That said, some of the most fascinating insights we have into 1st century Roman life come from the voluminous wall scrall in Pompeii. I suppose one man's crap is another man's fertilizer.

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RE[2]: Comment by DigitalAxis
by sbenitezb on Thu 10th Dec 2009 16:58 in reply to "RE: Comment by DigitalAxis"
sbenitezb Member since:

Most of that is lost because of religion (the destruction of The Library of Alexandria) or lack of interest in copying the originals (which ruled out a lot of thrash).

Reply Parent Score: 2