If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(MSN)   The digital 'dark age' may be coming upon us   ( msn.com) divider line
    More: Scary, Computer data storage, magnetic tape, Magnetic tape data storage, early 20th century, digital dark ages, different storage media, digital information, Digital  
•       •       •

4273 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 Jan 2018 at 3:10 PM (28 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



86 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2018-01-02 11:42:34 AM  
Kinky.
 
2018-01-02 12:05:03 PM  
That's expected. Hard drives have nothing on the longevity of properly stored parchment.
 
2018-01-02 12:32:23 PM  
And I care about this because?

Sure digital media has an experation date but it also can be copied and stored again and again. There's a lot of crap that no one would miss anyway.
 
2018-01-02 12:51:47 PM  
It's not even media rot.  A big number of the most popular videogames going today would cease to exist if their publisher pulled the plug on the game servers.

It's a topic that's very important to me.  Future generations have to learn from League of Legends, so that they do not make the same mistakes.
 
2018-01-02 01:30:23 PM  
More like "dork age."
 
2018-01-02 02:40:16 PM  
On the upside, the equations get easier now that we have computers:

1. If (subject->weight  == DUCK) goto is_witch;
2. If (self->isCrucified) goto look_on_bright_side_of_life;

/Plus all rules about avoiding goto go away during the dark ages, right?
 
2018-01-02 03:09:15 PM  

Mugato: And I care about this because?

Sure digital media has an experation date but it also can be copied and stored again and again. There's a lot of crap that no one would miss anyway.


Ever lose something because of a hard drive failure?  Or the media just doesn't read anymore?

For a lot of stuff, I don't care, it's true, but there is some stuff that I want to keep for a while.  So for important photographs, records, etc., I keep a paper copy.  Paper has a record stretching back thousands of years as an archival form.

Consider it like this:  How will future historians be able to get the full flavor of what people think about Trump today without access to much of what was written?  If 95% of what people say now is eventually lost because it's crap and no one properly archived it, how will that remaining 5% paint an accurate picture?


I keep a paper logbook (amateur radio operator) and I don't do electronic QSL's, only physical QSL cards, because I want to both look back on them fondly without having to upload them to different media every 5 years, and convert them into a different format every 10 to 15 years, not to mention backing them up on a regular basis.  Put the logbooks on the shelf, and barring a massive fire, they'll far outlive me.
 
2018-01-02 03:14:07 PM  
So, just like ancient times, we'll get our history through the lens of the documents that survived. So, the Trumpers chronicling events in crayon aren't looking so short sighted now, are they?
 
2018-01-02 03:16:26 PM  

dittybopper: Ever lose something because of a hard drive failure?  Or the media just doesn't read anymore?


It really wouldn't be that hard to constantly save this media repeatedly on different servers or different pieces of media. I'm not talking about every bit of data that's every been out there but we wouldn't be able to save all of that on paper either.
 
2018-01-02 03:17:59 PM  
I went to a lecture on this just as the digital age was really starting 15-20 years. The only thing I really remember is that microfilm/microfiche will remain for newspapers and other professional materials as the number one storage medium as we will always be able to retrieve the data, assuming a magnifying glass and a light source, no matter how much technology changes. So, in 100 years historians will still be able to read the failing NY Times but, maybe, not Trump's tweets.
 
2018-01-02 03:19:12 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2018-01-02 03:19:41 PM  

Mugato: And I care about this because?

Sure digital media has an experation date but it also can be copied and stored again and again. There's a lot of crap that no one would miss anyway.


I feel really bad that I couldn't find that "are you john stamos" quiz from ten years ago
It was funny
Also fat chicks in party hats dot com is gone
 
2018-01-02 03:20:29 PM  
I find it hilarious that the order of monks in "A Canticle for Liebowitz" is named AOL.
 
2018-01-02 03:20:55 PM  

dittybopper: How will future historians be able to get the full flavor of what people think about Trump today without access to much of what was written?


That's easy. They can just check the commentary on the latest Republican who was in office.
 
2018-01-02 03:20:58 PM  
Good thing *click* I stored *click* all my personal *click* items on an Iomega *click* Zip Drive
 
2018-01-02 03:21:36 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


Approves.

/Obscure?
 
2018-01-02 03:22:44 PM  
bit rot > crotch rot
 
2018-01-02 03:29:54 PM  
The thing is, the mid-1800s to now are an aberration.  For most of history, we have had relatively few records.  It was expensive to make records, and few people could read. Cheap printing meant that all of the sudden, you are swimming in printed materials.  In 1630, 95% of people had no voice whatsoever.  Yet, we still have a pretty good idea of what life was like.  Is an over-abundance of materials for random schlubs nice to have? Yes.  Is it the end of all history if you don't have access to all that? No.

Also, historians are trained to be suspicious of the sources they read.  The idea they will uncritically regurgitate 2012 talking points because they appear on a memo is ludicrous.
 
2018-01-02 03:31:47 PM  
Digital media might have an expiration date, but that will just provide job opportunities to future generations to try to restore the content.  Remember - digital is just an abstraction, all storage media is analog, but designed to be interpreted digitally.  So, even if a bit is "lost", you can look at the actual analog data behind the digital interpretation to restore it.

Hard and time consuming, but think about the intellectual reward that people will feel when they restore lolcats to their former glory!
 
2018-01-02 03:36:57 PM  
monomakhos.comView Full Size
 
2018-01-02 03:38:34 PM  

phalamir: The thing is, the mid-1800s to now are an aberration.  For most of history, we have had relatively few records.  It was expensive to make records, and few people could read. Cheap printing meant that all of the sudden, you are swimming in printed materials.  In 1630, 95% of people had no voice whatsoever.


The printing press was already 200 years old by 1630. We have access to broadsides, books, and pamphlets from the 1600s. You would need to go back before the 1400s, 

Everything we make and store on media is going to disappear--music, books, movies, and games will vanish. When our civilization falls, the only traces of our thoughts will be written on the stone that clads our public buildings.
 
2018-01-02 03:39:48 PM  

Mugato: dittybopper: Ever lose something because of a hard drive failure?  Or the media just doesn't read anymore?

It really wouldn't be that hard to constantly save this media repeatedly on different servers or different pieces of media. I'm not talking about every bit of data that's every been out there but we wouldn't be able to save all of that on paper either.


Which one of these do you think you could still read?

img.fark.netView Full Size


Both of those are from 1982.

I keep them in my office as a reminder that electronic data is ephemeral.  And you know it's my desk, because I have an action figure of myself.  Yes, it's the one on the far left.
 
2018-01-02 03:40:43 PM  
This is not the first time this subject has come up.  And it does seem like a pretty valid concern.

Except that it seems to me that stuff that is being saved and archived now will almost certainly be readable by future machines no matter what.  And, as we are making updates to things like data warehouses, it's not like we take the old drives, and put them in a closet without first moving all of the data to the new systems.

In other words, there is going to be a constant move from system to system...  At least for really important stuff.

And let's not make this sound like it's only digital information that's a problem.  Anything on magnetic tape, or even microfilm, will degrade at some point in the future.  Atoms have a half life.  All of them.  They will degrade over time.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If there is some particular part of history that you wish to survive for 1000's of years, it might be a good idea to get on inventing a method of doing that.  Because currently, stone seems to be the only thing that really lasts that long.  Perhaps that's the solution right there.  We need to start etching our data in granite or something.  Sure, it will take up a lot more space.  But it would last forever.
 
2018-01-02 03:42:56 PM  

dittybopper: Mugato: dittybopper: Ever lose something because of a hard drive failure?  Or the media just doesn't read anymore?

It really wouldn't be that hard to constantly save this media repeatedly on different servers or different pieces of media. I'm not talking about every bit of data that's every been out there but we wouldn't be able to save all of that on paper either.

Which one of these do you think you could still read?

[img.fark.net image 850x477][View Full Size image _x_]

Both of those are from 1982.

I keep them in my office as a reminder that electronic data is ephemeral.  And you know it's my desk, because I have an action figure of myself.  Yes, it's the one on the far left.


What, the pencil in the box?
 
2018-01-02 03:45:03 PM  

dittybopper: Both of those are from 1982.

I keep them in my office as a reminder that electronic data is ephemeral.  And you know it's my desk, because I have an action figure of myself.  Yes, it's the one on the far left.


We don't have to use technology from 1982. Nor do we have to use it only once.
 
2018-01-02 03:45:36 PM  

dittybopper: Mugato: dittybopper: Ever lose something because of a hard drive failure?  Or the media just doesn't read anymore?

It really wouldn't be that hard to constantly save this media repeatedly on different servers or different pieces of media. I'm not talking about every bit of data that's every been out there but we wouldn't be able to save all of that on paper either.

Which one of these do you think you could still read?

[img.fark.net image 850x477][View Full Size image _x_]

Both of those are from 1982.

I keep them in my office as a reminder that electronic data is ephemeral.  And you know it's my desk, because I have an action figure of myself.  Yes, it's the one on the far left.


Considering the only way you could prove that you are a bigger douche would be NSFW, so I'd say "Mission Accomplished."

/The Godzillas score you Slytherin-like points.
 
2018-01-02 03:53:28 PM  
Way ahead of you.  I got one of the first thermal transfer printers when they came out and printed all my critical documents.  All safely stored in the basement next to the furnace...
 
2018-01-02 03:58:39 PM  

BorgiaGinz: The printing press was already 200 years old by 1630. We have access to broadsides, books, and pamphlets from the 1600s. You would need to go back before the 1400s,


Printing existed, but the everyday person was not literate, and what was printed was often essentially government propaganda (or anti-government propaganda).  During the 1600s, England had an official censor who could revoke your right to print and destroy your press on a whim.  Printing =/= universal record creation.  The age of "Edward Goodhusband thinks the Berkshire Morris Dancing Celebration was shiate and now everyone in Cumbria can read about it" would not occur until much later.

BorgiaGinz: Everything we make and store on media is going to disappear--music, books, movies, and games will vanish. When our civilization falls, the only traces of our thoughts will be written on the stone that clads our public buildings.


So, ancient Egypt.  For which we know quite a bit, even if Farmer Khum's Sobek Festival etchings did not survive.  Low history is a good thing, but don't fetishize it.
 
2018-01-02 04:00:30 PM  

durbnpoisn: Atoms have a half life.  All of them.


Yes, but the possible decay rate of protons is really, really, really farking long.  There is more of  a chance the matter will get 'et by a black hole than it will completely degrade on its own.
 
2018-01-02 04:01:06 PM  
The Internet never forgets, much to chagrin of politicians and strippers turned kindergarten teachers.
 
2018-01-02 04:02:27 PM  
As a librarian with some archival training, yes, preservation of digital information is a huge issue.
 
2018-01-02 04:04:53 PM  
andnothingofvaluewaslost.jpg
 
2018-01-02 04:08:53 PM  
Well, duh. That's why John Titor came looking for an IBM 5100.
 
2018-01-02 04:11:45 PM  

dittybopper: And you know it's my desk, because I have an action figure of myself.  Yes, it's the one on the far left.


You consider your action figure to be a Stapler?  Not even a red swingline stapler, but like a knock-off generic "Office Impressions" one?  I thought *I* was boring.
 
2018-01-02 04:18:40 PM  
Whatever.

My old Apple 2 works just fine. I guess the zeroes and one on 440k 5.25" floppies are big enough to be immune to bitrot.

My current data is duplicated in three places.
 
2018-01-02 04:23:58 PM  

Nurglitch: dittybopper: Mugato: dittybopper: Ever lose something because of a hard drive failure?  Or the media just doesn't read anymore?

It really wouldn't be that hard to constantly save this media repeatedly on different servers or different pieces of media. I'm not talking about every bit of data that's every been out there but we wouldn't be able to save all of that on paper either.

Which one of these do you think you could still read?

[img.fark.net image 850x477]

Both of those are from 1982.

I keep them in my office as a reminder that electronic data is ephemeral.  And you know it's my desk, because I have an action figure of myself.  Yes, it's the one on the far left.

Considering the only way you could prove that you are a bigger douche would be NSFW, so I'd say "Mission Accomplished."

/The Godzillas score you Slytherin-like points.


I've been looking for a good favorites tag to add to ditty, but "has an action figure of himself, obviously" might be the perfect fit.
 
2018-01-02 04:25:08 PM  

dittybopper: Mugato: dittybopper: Ever lose something because of a hard drive failure?  Or the media just doesn't read anymore?

It really wouldn't be that hard to constantly save this media repeatedly on different servers or different pieces of media. I'm not talking about every bit of data that's every been out there but we wouldn't be able to save all of that on paper either.

Which one of these do you think you could still read?

[img.fark.net image 850x477]

Both of those are from 1982.

I keep them in my office as a reminder that electronic data is ephemeral.  And you know it's my desk, because I have an action figure of myself.  Yes, it's the one on the far left.

You're a stapler?
 
2018-01-02 04:26:06 PM  

phalamir: durbnpoisn: Atoms have a half life.  All of them.

Yes, but the possible decay rate of protons is really, really, really farking long.  There is more of  a chance the matter will get 'et by a black hole than it will completely degrade on its own.


In terms of how information is stored in a magnetic tape, I'm not so sure about that.
Once the decay gets to a point that the physical structure of the medium is damaged, even slightly, it may become irreversibly corrupt.

Well, not with microfilm.  That may still be one of the longest lasting archive formats we have.
 
2018-01-02 04:32:51 PM  

durbnpoisn: Well, not with microfilm.  That may still be one of the longest lasting archive formats we have.


It's terrible for preserving photos.

I've copied some old dissertations from microfilm. I'd have paid good money for access to the book version. Working with microfilm and it's stupid-ass printers sucks.
 
2018-01-02 04:34:25 PM  
Oh no, the high culture of videogames, comicbook movies, and memes may not be preserved for future enlightened beings.
 
2018-01-02 04:40:52 PM  
I'm less concerned about how "readable" the data is, but more about how much there is that can't be parsed, combed through, and figured out based on mass alone.  If you asked a scholar in 2075 to go through the archives of the internet and make sense of 2015, for example, a historian is never going to be able to get a read on things.  Much of what showed up in records for that year will be digitization of records from earlier ages, some large percentage will be non-content traffic information and meta data, much of the content will be inane and irrelevant, etc.  Picking any random set of a few thousand records or pieces will paint a drastically different picture than another set.  There's so little to normalize on.

You're back to using a set of a few hundred "core" sources of to define an age - a set of newspapers, magazines, television archives, news reports, and popular nodes.  Trying to understand the whole?  It's death-by-inanity, not death by information vacuum.
 
2018-01-02 04:43:59 PM  
All those lost duckface and dick pics.

Truly a cultural tragedy.
 
2018-01-02 04:44:05 PM  
Just imagine people 60 years from now unearthing time capsules full of VHS and cassette tapes?.
How are they going to figure out what's on them?
 
2018-01-02 04:44:20 PM  
explainxkcd.comView Full Size
 
2018-01-02 04:46:39 PM  

dittybopper: Mugato: And I care about this because?

Ever lose something because of a hard drive failure?  Or the media just doesn't read anymore?


With the rapidly decreasing price for hard drives I spend $100 every 2 years and buy ever increasing sized drives to record everything I have saved and allow enough space for the next 2 years worth of new files.
 
2018-01-02 04:47:23 PM  

duckpoopy: Oh no, the high culture of videogames, comicbook movies, and memes may not be preserved for future enlightened beings.


Hey, comic books are worth preserving.
 
2018-01-02 04:48:01 PM  

phalamir: BorgiaGinz: Everything we make and store on media is going to disappear--music, books, movies, and games will vanish. When our civilization falls, the only traces of our thoughts will be written on the stone that clads our public buildings.

So, ancient Egypt.  For which we know quite a bit, even if Farmer Khum's Sobek Festival etchings did not survive.  Low history is a good thing, but don't fetishize it.


Just look at the insane amount of (text)books in circulation. Enough info will remain to keep historians a 1000 years from now busy.
 
2018-01-02 04:49:40 PM  

dittybopper: Mugato: dittybopper: Ever lose something because of a hard drive failure?  Or the media just doesn't read anymore?

It really wouldn't be that hard to constantly save this media repeatedly on different servers or different pieces of media. I'm not talking about every bit of data that's every been out there but we wouldn't be able to save all of that on paper either.

Which one of these do you think you could still read?

[img.fark.net image 850x477]

Both of those are from 1982.

I keep them in my office as a reminder that electronic data is ephemeral.  And you know it's my desk, because I have an action figure of myself.  Yes, it's the one on the far left.


rob schneider is a stapler trailer.wmv
Youtube hqLUbmpuVw4
 
2018-01-02 04:54:35 PM  

mudpants: With the rapidly decreasing price for hard drives I spend $100 every 2 years and buy ever increasing sized drives to record everything I have saved and allow enough space for the next 2 years worth of new files.


Fantastic.  So who has the Livejournal posts for "bluebird12301", who grew up to be the next Einstein or Hitler in the 2050s?  Because we have the handwritten journals for those people last century when they grew up, but we likely won't have the records for what those people wrote as children or adults in an all digital age.

Because either they get lost on backups of backups of backups sometime in the 2030s, because no one archived how to read and parse them properly as formats changed, and when a backup failed at some point, no one worried about losing the data because they were more concerned about the last 7 years, and to be honest, it's Livejournal/Geocities/Angelfire/MySpac​e and we moved on from that years ago, so.....

That's the problem. So much is lost because no one cares in a tech age that moves so fast, or what's left is huge, archaic, and inane to the point of useless.
 
2018-01-02 04:57:15 PM  

Ishkur: Just imagine people 60 years from now unearthing time capsules full of VHS and cassette tapes?.
How are they going to figure out what's on them?


Prayer fans of the HeeChee

For the opposite swing of the pendulum, there have been people that thought that most of the geology of the Earth is actually the archives of elder civilizations

prodimage.images-bn.comView Full Size


"Rokfogo" supposedly 'rock photographs'
/I didn't say they were sane people
 
Displayed 50 of 86 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking

On Twitter





Top Commented
Javascript is required to view headlines in widget.
  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report