Thursday, May 02, 2013

Data Loss

'We experience life as a continuity, and only after it falls away, after it becomes the past, do we see its discontinuities.  The past, if there is such a thing, is mostly empty space; great expanses of nothing in which significant persons and events float.'
Teju Cole, Open City
CERN is currently engaged in a bit of electronic archaeology: attempting to recreate the first web page every made. The earliest version they have found so far is from November 1992; older versions were rewritten without first caching backups. It's somehow liberating to think that even in the great sleepless communal panopticon of the internet, historically important documents can be forgotten and lost, that as in the happening world its past can slowly be unremembered, and become the actual past.


Blogger Paul Weimer said...

I am reminded of the data archaeology in Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky.

May 02, 2013 3:01 pm  

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