August 17, 2007

Digital Archaeology - is it the future?

How many of you take photos?

How many of you have hard copies of those photos?

Now how many of you have them burnt onto a CD or somewhere on your hard drive?

It has been hypothesised that in the future there will be a dearth of paper records and that many of our older documents will be stored digitally. Whereas in ages past we have referred to the paper trail to learn about events, family histories, social changes, etc we are now entering an age where so many documents that are work related or just personal are stored digitally.

Take your diary. We used to write diaries when we were kids. Samuel Pepys wrote a rather famous diary, as did Anne Frank and numerous military leaders such as Patton and Napoleon. Can you imagine it if they were to write theirs now?

"Invaded North Africa. Stupid Italians ran away LOL. Germans were well 'ard tho. That Rommel is a crafty SOB. Gonna have to give him a slap."


"Russia is WELL COLD in winta! Shoulda stayed at home but them Ruskis had it commin. Teach 'em to mess wit me!"

Lacks a certain something doesn't it?

So in the future will archaeologists be trawling through thousands and thousands of hard drives, flash cards, mobile phones to find our social history? What about companies like M$ and Google? Do they now have a responsibility to preserve this information for future generations?

Posted by AlexC at August 17, 2007 10:32 AM

I can only imagine if they use blogs as some type of "information source". I just want to apologize to the future generations NOW!!!

Posted by: tammi at August 17, 2007 08:59 PM

You have to wonder though in even a hundred years will they beable to look at our hard drives, flash cards, PDA's, etc.

Will technology advance so much that they can't?

Kind of like Beta VCR tapes? Or 8-Tracks?

Posted by: Quality Weenie at August 22, 2007 04:15 PM

I would think that they would be able to - but with some kind of technological "Rosetta Stone". We seem quite big on backward compatibility but I get the point - there will always be some technological "dead-ends" so to speak.

What's fascinating is what future generations will make of it all. Without trying to sound snobby, for the first time ever the lower echelons of society now have access to being able to write via the 'net and that's going to be the bulk of what people see thanks to MySpace and Facebook.

Posted by: Alex at August 23, 2007 09:52 AM