archiving as opposed to backing up

From: Teo Zenios <>
Date: Wed Sep 22 23:56:12 2004

----- Original Message -----
From: "Vintage Computer Festival" <>
To: "General Discussion: On-Topic and Off-Topic Posts"
Sent: Wednesday, September 22, 2004 9:40 PM
Subject: Re: archiving as opposed to backing up

> On Wed, 22 Sep 2004, Teo Zenios wrote:
> > To me archives should be made up of just the important stuff, if we
> > find it important enough to save it, people 1000 years from now will
> > it is even less important. Who wants to dig through a trillion pictures
> > everyone's pre school finger paintings in an archive our parents put
> > together 1000 years from now?
> Well, I for one would be beyond thrilled to see pictures of people and
> places and things from 1000 years ago.
> --
> Sellam Ismail Vintage Computer

You can see pictures of people and places and things from 1000 years ago,
its called art, architecture, and artifacts. One of the reasons people are
so interested in the past is because of the little information that has
survived plus their need to learn things nobody else knows. I have read and
seen lots of pictures on ancient Greece but nothing beats climbing up the
road to the Acropolis to see it yourself even if it is a shell of what it
really looked like ages ago. Same with standing on the center stone of a
1000+ year old amphitheater that the ancient storytellers used for famous
plays. I would love to climb an Inca ruin someday and look out into the
countryside for miles an miles and ponder what drove the religious people to
offer human sacrifices on the very spot you stand on.

I mentioned the finger paintings because every married friend I knew with
kids loved to show off those finger paintings on their refrigerator to
anybody within eyesight of them, and I could care less. Unless its your kids
painting you really don't care. If everybody archived those (which they
would since it meant something to them) would anybody ever bother looking at
them in 1000 years? There is such a thing as too much information, sensory
overload. If enough material survives from today so that people from 1000
years from now are a little curious about us then that is good. Let the
archeologists dig in our trash pits to see what we read, ate, tools we used,
fashion we wore, books we read etc. If we lay everything out for them
(assuming they can make heads or tails out of it) there is no mystique to
it, nothing to ponder, no need to dig up the past and to see for themselves
what it was all about. The best thing is for people to read our history from
the victors side and then do dig up the vanquished to see what really
happened. People always talk about Atlantis because its something mythical
to search for, if it was documented 100% nobody would care, it would be like
reading 10 years on income tax forms. Save what we think is important and
let other generations go dig up what they think was important about us.

I really think people here collect computers because deep inside it means
something to them, not because they want to preserve it for others. Do you
really want to document every single thing we treasure about a specific
machine to the Nth degree so somebody even 20 years from now could just look
it up as needed, or do you really wish something important was forgotten
from the archive so that somebody decides to find one, put it together, and
find out what the hunk of metal really does?
Received on Wed Sep 22 2004 - 23:56:12 BST

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