February 14, 2005

303 words 2 mins read

Save the Archives!

I saw this article linked to from slashdot. It brings a tear to the eye to think of what a big company like SBC might do, throw it all away. I’ll admit that I don’t really care much about the archive now, as most people dont. But think of our future generations. One day no one will have a landline phone ( already 90% of college students have cell phones ) and they’ll want to see the history. I’m not saying the entire AT&T archive should go into the Smithsonian, but I’m sure there is a good portion that should. We have people now aadays called archaeologists, who’s sole job is to dig up the history of past civilizations. Things as subtle as how people were buried, and items there were buried with, are important. So why can’t we be smart about these things and collect it for future generations, so they don’t have to dig us up.

Really its only been the last 100 or so years that we’ve been able to record sound and motion (video). So for thousands of years, the only way we’ve been able to find out what people looked like or dressed like, was to dig them up, use computers, and hope. I don’t know about everyone else, but if I lived in the year 3005, I’d like to be able to go to a museum and see what people in the year 2005 did.

And on that matter, while the internet may be permanent (well, it looks good so far), the content and method of access aren’t. Ok, so maybe the same content has been on the same long lost server for the last 10 years, but what happens when the world switches to IPv6? The servers that are forgotten are going to be lost, forever.