Monday, 7 February 2011

What will become of our social history?

The more I immerse myself in internet culture (and I'm pretty immersed), the more I wonder what the future will be able to get from us.

What would happen if there's some kind of cataclysmic change in our world which means we can't generate  huge amounts of electricity any more. How will people in the future access all the massive amounts of social history we are merrily logging on line at the moment? All the blogs, all the tweets. Inaccessible, or worse - gone.

The same would be true if we changed formates, like when CD's took over tapes. I still have tapes but I have nothing to play them on. There would be a few people who could access all the blogs and stuff but everyone elses access to them would be restricted by the few and so the futures interpretation of the past may be coloured by a few people with technical know how.

I don't really keep anything in hard copy any more. My musings are in a blog or on twitter, my diary is on my phone and all my photos are stored on computer...and an external hard drive...and on my ipod. (I really don't want to lose my photos). My music is on technology. Even the books I read are slowly going onto ereader.

If the worst happened, what would the future make of an era when a large chunk of its information could be missing in the ether? We call this the information age but is it possible that the future could see this time as a new dark ages?

If I can be bothered, at some point, I think I'll print off my blog posts so that my great grand children have something to read from me. But I probably won't, I have technology.

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