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dedicado a mi querida amiguita Luisa, porque somos listo a repetir la historia si no nos podemos recordarla

Cuneiform As many of you already know, we humans have a tendency to keep memories and records of events no matter how trivial. In early history this was never too much of a problem as the mediums of storage were stone, wood, glass, animal hides, paper, tiles, etc. Most of these storage methods can save information (if kept in ideal conditions) for over a hundred years or more. Several stone tablets dating from ancient Sumeria are still legible today and have provided accurate information, a testament to the integrity of the data and the only drawback was that the language to read the tablets was long extinct. Nevertheless the information was safe and it only needed to be decoded for one to read it. The technology level was low enough that both modern man and his ancient counterpart could take the time and learn its’ contents.

This is no small achievement for humanity, to say that storage lasted for close to 7,000 years is nothing short of miraculous!

 

 

 

tape_deck So last night I was converting a taped recording of my older sister’s voice from an old cassette tape into the newer and easier to transport version MP3. This may not seem like much trouble (and it wasn’t) but it shocked me at how quickly the mode of information storage changed. My sister is 40 years old, this tape was made about 38 years ago. While she was young records (the old LP’s) were still widely used (now extinct), 8 track tapes (extinct), microfilm (essentially extinct), VHS (extinct), BetaMAX (extinct): all of them came and disappeared in those short years. Notice that I haven’t mentioned CD’s, DVD’s, BlueRay, USB Sticks..etc.. all of which are dying as media storage.

x1000r

 

Compare this with the previously mentioned world’s methods of storage, they needed only the ability to read and write. No electricity, no special tools to read them and the lifespan of the data was magnitudes of orders longer and less finicky to the ravages of time. It reminds me that unless you keep hard copies of your information in a format that will be used in the future, you will lose that information… That data…will be lost, possibly forever. What will happen to modern humans without electricity if all of our books are converted to Kindle E Readers? What will happen to our ability to survive as a species ? What will become of Mozart ? Of Cervantes?  We will be lost… our descendants will look at our world and wonder how we built cities and nuclear power without books and without reading /writing (they will only see pieces of glass screens that will be mistaken for TV’s)

tk_caveman

3nf3m43l85V25Q15X4b9e3fc6ec7a80671070 Or if we lose everything, our grandchildren will stare at our world looking for help (while they use Stone Age material) and our information will be hidden from them because they have no idea how to make electricity, or fix a computer, or connect a CD player a kindle or MP3 Player..

Truly they will come to think of us as Gods and that this world was a magical place..

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Written by Josecito

October 12, 2011 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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