Monday, July 18, 2011

Vishnus of the Internet

From deathless prose to insipid or salacious musings -- it's all part of the Internet. And generally, it disappears almost as fast as it appears.

"The Internet now is the main communication and publication medium,” (Professor Joseph) JaJa said. “If we don’t preserve it, we lose a good part of our cultural heritage.”
An article in The Washington Post today details some of the efforts being made to store today's data for tomorrow's historians and others who might be curious.

“We’re sort of stuck in this perpetual now,” (Professor Michael) Nelson said. “Figuring out what was on the Web an hour ago, a day ago, a week ago, we’re really bad at that.”

Saving the "now" for then. Preserving the "was" for the "is." The Vishnus (preservers) of the Internet are hard at work. A cultural heritage leans on an electronic crutch.

And as far as I can figure out, no one is examining one of the underlying assumptions of the whole effort: What happens when electricity is no longer available? Will the cripples be able to walk?

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