archiving as opposed to backing up

From: John Foust <>
Date: Thu Sep 23 08:51:58 2004

At 07:43 PM 9/22/2004, Teo Zenios wrote:
>A thousand years from now nobody is going to care about what 99.999% of the
>population did during their lives. Unless you made some major contribution
>to society (which would most likely be archived by your generation) or were
>a figure that seen something major (also documented) who will ever look your
>information up?

Aldo Leopold wrote that "the first step in intelligent tinkering
is to save the pieces."

Humans have never tired of remembering their history. Technology
gives us some new ways to do it in far better fidelity than a story
repeated around a campfire or words scribbled on a page. I have
a few minutes of movies of relatives taken in the 1920s. Before
that, only a few static pictures, a few letters, a diary or two.
Would I like more? You bet.

One of my most fascinating relatives circa 1900 was a bit of a
black sheep and she's practically erased from the family history,
yet she's the one I'd like to know the best. And it was only from
researching her and discovering a long-lost relative still in the
same neighborhood that we found that movie from the 20s.

Heck, there's been many times I'd wished I'd kept a better journal
so I can figure out my own life, never mind letting my g-g-g-son
learn more about me.

Yes, 99.999% of what I have on disk would probably be considered
useless in 30 years, much less 300. But who knows what part they'd
want to see? I'll save a few of my kids' actual finger-paintings and
probably digital-camera the rest, so I can flip through it someday.

As Ben Franklin said, three moves equals one fire. Live a long life,
move a few times, need to consolidate to move cross-country or
across an ocean, give some away - presto, a lot of stuff disappears.
(Which gets me to the topic of my next big rant for this list,
which is about the rate of accumulation and the madness of collecting.)

We are technologically so close to being able to record an entire
human life on video. If there's a good way to reasonably
permanently store a recording like that - wow. That literally
changes history.

- John
Received on Thu Sep 23 2004 - 08:51:58 BST

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