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Remembrance of Technology Past

Robert Frost said there is something that does not love a wall that wants it down. It seems to me that it is not so much hating the wall as loving the remnants of what is was. We are fascinated by ghost towns and the memories of things past. This crossed my mind when I read the BBC article on the possibility of the “digital dark age”, that all the things we have been saving on computers may be lost to us as hardware and software become obsolete. The situation would be like the Egyptian hieroglyphs before the Rosetta stone. While Vint Cerf promotes an idea to preserve every piece of software and hardware so that it never becomes obsolete – just like what happens in a museum – but in digital form, in servers in the cloud I feel strangely fascinated by the opposite. That at some point we may be confronted with a keyboard or monitor and have no idea what it does, the same way my son is fascinated by my rotary telephone. Is there not a planned obselence for information or technology, a point of no return? Ruins and remnants fascinate us, should we not let technology take on the same role as buildings, even ideas that are no longer considered correct or viable. Do we need to save everything or can we let memory be all that we possess of the past?

 

Here is the link to the BBC article
http://m.bbc.com/news/science-environment-31450389

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