Is The ‘Digital Dark Age’ Mainstream Yet?

Many more more people are waking up about the looming ‘Digital Dark Age’ – the Sydney Morning Herald warns of a cultural ‘black hole’ spanning the mid-90s up to about now, where most of our memories are being archived on volatile media that might not survive.

(I first mentioned this back in 2004 – do I get any extra points?)

I’m proud to say that one of my former ventures, ACM, is part of the Pandora project that this article mentions.

Again, the main problem is that none of the media on which we currently choose to store our data (read: memories) is able to last more than 10 years or so. If I were investing in technology ventures in the medium term, I’d be looking to archival technologies that will let us Generation Xers show and tell Generation X+3 what the sea levels looked like before the Great Warming and Innundation of 2012.

Future historians will be better informed about the back catalogue of New Kids On The Block than The Backstreet Boys. Sobering thought.

And, speaking from personal experience – BACK STUFF UP! PRINT THE IMPORTANT STUFF OUT on ARCHIVAL QUALITY PAPER AND INK! NOW! You can’t afford to lose those memories, even if some of it lives on perishable optical disks for a time. If your disk crashes, you will have some explaining to do to both future and current generations.

Any ideas on what the next wave is? Should we go back to stone? That’s the only thing that seems to last, at least, according to Time Team.

<voice=”Mal Garvin”>
Or maybe, just maybe, our memories are best stored in the lives of others – they can be heard as echoes of the laughter of those who share stories of us when we’re long, long gone. Where do you store YOUR treasures? It makes you think.