Why not store reality as reality?
Something called Vint Cerf,
allegedly one of the "founders" of NSA's telescreens, appears to have recognized an obvious problem.
Much of the data stored in the massive coal-burning structure known as the Cloud is formatted to be read by specific types of equipment. As those types of equipment grow obsolete, the data becomes practically unreadable. This problem has already been obvious for 30 years, as data stored on Hollerith cards, McBee cards, magnetic tapes and 8" floppies has already been "lost"... or at least not worth the expense of recapturing.
The entity known as Vint Cerf proposes that we should reserve a special area of the coal-burning structure known as the Cloud, to store the descriptions
of older devices.
The entity known as Vint Cerf has literally lost all contact with physical reality.
First: Digitally storable descriptions for use by CNC machines or 3d printers must be written in some type of vector or raster code. There are a dozen such codes in common use, and most such codes are ALREADY OBSOLETE. What happens when the CNC devices that read these descriptions become obsolete?
Second: The vector or raster code must be stored in binary with some specific storage format. What happens if THIS format goes obsolete?
Third and most important: The Cloud is infinitely insecure and ephemeral. It depends on the continuation of several corporations and power grids and server manufacturers, all of which are totally vulnerable to failure or bankruptcy or hacking.
I've got a more radical idea. Why not simply preserve the devices AS FUCKING DEVICES? There are already several small museums and private archives devoted to such preservation. Let's help them and coordinate them.
A punch-card reader calmly continues to exist when vector codes change, when formats storing vector codes change, and when the Cloud gets hacked by internal blackmailers posing as "China" or "North Korea" or "Christians" or "RussianAggression™" or "StoneAgeMuslimSavages™" or our current** supposed "enemy". The punch-card reader doesn't know and doesn't care about all that shit. It simply continues to function properly if you continue to maintain it properly and use it respectfully.
If the devices need programs to run, store the source code of the firmware on PAPER. Maintain a priesthood of technicians who know how to maintain and run and reprogram the devices, and keep the techs and devices 'exercised' as much as possible. Make the exercise semi-profitable by offering to read and print obscure materials. Build new devices by direct physical matching when the old ones start to deteriorate too much.
PAPER RETAINS INFORMATION FOREVER,
doesn't depend on any level of coding or corporations or grids or anti-virus protection, and degrades analog-ly. A few scratches or tears leave a book fully readable. A few scratches destroy everything on a USB stick or DVD or hard disk.
= = = = =
** In old-fashioned wars you could say things like "This bomb has your name on it, Kraut scum!" Those lines don't work any more. Now our bombs and bullets are addressed to Occupant or Current Resident. Gives a new meaning to Total War. Everyone, especially including our own citizens, is an enemy.
Labels: 20th century Dark Age, Danbo