Over at AITS: The Medium Controls the Present: Is It Too Late to Stop a Digital Dark Age?

“He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” ― George Orwell, 1984

Google Vice President Vint Cerf recently turned some heads at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, warning the attending scientists that the digitization of the artifacts of civilization may create a digital dark age. “If we’re thinking 1,000 years, 3,000 years ahead in the future, we have to ask ourselves, how do we preserve all the bits that we need in order to correctly interpret the digital objects we create?” Cerf’s concerns are that today’s technology will become obsolete at some future time, with the information of our own times locked in a technological prison.

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One thought on “Over at AITS: The Medium Controls the Present: Is It Too Late to Stop a Digital Dark Age?

  1. Vint Cerf is so right on. We just have to look at the lost arts/sciences of the ancient Egyptian civilization where we don’t exactly know how they mummified their dead or built the great pyramids. We used to be able to fix/rebuild radios and TVs with Radio Shack parts but now just recycle broken devices filled with semiconductor chips. Hard copy documents scanned electronically will only live as long as the media exists, which might be 10 – 20 years. Even now I am finding that many people don’t recall historical events from the 1980’s. Future generations may forget our current information in 50 years. Then again there is a lot of garbage that is better forgotten, like is the dress white/gold or blue/black(?)


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