Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Can information last forever?

In a recent article titled The Digital Dark Age, the quicker we are to record and store our lives in digital form, the bleaker the future of information looks, it states.

The article asks: 'how can masses of machine-generated, machine-read material be stored in a form that is safe, secure from degradation and - potentially most calamitous in the long term - accessible to subsequent generations?

They fear that rather than ushering mankind into a techno-utopia of paperless offices and clean, eco-friendly, endlessly flexible, virtual communication, it threatens to cast future generations into what Connell describes as a "digital dark age".'

Information, to my understanding, is the key. It is what drives all systems, both living and non-living. And inability to access this information can only lead to entropy - decay. Just as in the physical Dark Ages of the past where knowledge was stored in monasteries and sacred places, latent, and biding its time waiting for the right cultural conditions for its release - so too we may, according to this hypothesis, lie stagnant unable to access our own past knowledge.

Information then must always facilitate access - it should be open and free. Where is the place/space for this? A wireless world of distributed information that is open to all forms of evolving technologies. To be cut off from information may devolve us.

Open source - the spring of life.

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