losing data in the web, long term future prospect for history

19 Oct

london 9.35pm monday 2015

we have been told that anything in the web will last and last. it is usually said in the context of indiscretions, or even things we have written and put on the web, that other people or even yourself can retrieve years from now to read again. nothing is lost.

but here is an article, raiders of the lost web and raiders of the lost web part II,  that says things are disappearing from the web in the sense that links are not operating. or new technology makes the operating system obsolete (like flash for a recent example, but they are referring to old computer codes, i think).

it looks like the permanency and foreverness of the web is a myth. and they are saying the web is now no more a place to store academic research but more a place for social interaction and media. if it is the latter, than it is not worth preserving, as social interactions are only of interest for the moment it occurs. it’s a bit like there is no news like old news. haha.

should we lament this development? maybe not, but it might be a short sighted viewpoint. in terms of history and future researchers trying to access our times and past times, there might be nothing left for them to research.

so  it looks like printing out the webpages may be the best way of preserving anything you want to remember and keep. so paper is not going out of fashion. maybe trying to preserve anything nowadays is futile. we dont write things down in clay tablets which seems to be more durable than anything. i think a lot of things will be lost as well as lots of things about us may be mistaken. for eg, i can just see a future when they think margaret thatcher the prime minister of britain was assasinated, instead of what really happened that she just died of old age. just because there is a book with that title by hilary mantel, the same woman who wrote the thomas cromwell trilogy,(i know it is supposed to be about henry VIII,but it is not really about him ) and i bet history too would take her version of thomas cromwell as the true version of that man, instead of the old generally accepted one. and that abraham lincoln is a vampire hunter as well as being president of the united states of america.

since u cannot libel the dead, it is open season for any one to cook up whatever they want about these dead people. 

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