Aug 28, 2006

Historical Amnesia - thanks IT!

We have long ago entered an era where the instruments of recording our memory are not just books. Contained within old grainy black and white photo's to modern multimedia presentations are some of the more modern records of human culture.

While we have become experts at preserving and disseminating the written and printed word, we are still unsure about what to do with anything else. For example, see the following - One giant blunder for mankind: how NASA lost moon pictures

If NASA can get it wrong, then what about us. It's possible that all those files you keep on your computer may, through some accident, get deleted. You'll lose a bit of your history, especially if lost data includes all the photo's you've taken with your digital camera. Not many of us print-out photo's or keep photo albums anymore. But more than that - there may have been some article, novel, or any project you were working on. Some of you may even keep a daily journal in their computers. The value of information stored in our computers is becoming higher as we move more media into digital storage.

One commentator states that we live in the digital dark ages, as we are losing our cultural history by anything that gets deleted and modified everyday on computers worldwide.

As always there is hope, libraries and other memory institutions worldwide have become aware of this growing problem and are preparing to create Digital Archives, that shall permanently store digital records. Even tougher is that they are planning to provide public access to this storehouse. They have a near impossible task ahead of them.

Then, there's the famous call by a user to a customer service centre - 'I want to download the internet, do I need a bigger hard disk?'