Digital Archive or Self-Delete

Originally published on Athabasca Landing site:
August 29, 2011 – 4:50pm

A definition of the word ‘archive’ does not include the element of time.  Yet time is critical to human communication and the digital environment.

I submit that as communication becomes more digital,  the digital data will become more volatile, fragile, and inherently weaker to future retrieval.

While continuous backup provide a temporary solution.  A digital archive solution that compares to the longevity of cave paintings in France has yet to materialize.

I would have thought this would give pause to those digital knowledge workers developing in closed and encrypted digital environments.  However, the digital flow through seems to follow a more consumer oriented model of ‘use and throw away’.  Hence DVD Regions codes, software keys and activations are a very short term commercial mindset, and horribly unfriendly archive solution.

Therefore, open-source and copyright free digital environments will have the greatest advantage in future retrieval and repurposing.

Think cave paintings – if they had been encrypted or copyrighted for destruction – would there be much of human history left?

Does anyone expect to pass on an office file 100 years from now?