Digital Dark Age
My first doubts as to the longevity of computers were cast in the 1990s when my favourite game ‘Myst’ no longer worked after Microsoft updated its Windows operating system. Since then, an increasing number of my programmes have been rendered useless by the ‘advance’ of technology. And anyone who has been Secretary to a community group will know how quickly their groups laptops have fallen into ‘clunkiness’.
My concerns were recently reinforced when I read that Vint Cef, a Google Vice President, is worried that all the images and documents we have been saving on computers will eventually be lost as hardware and software become obsolete. He fears that future generations will have little or no record of the 21st Century as we enter what he describes as a “digital Dark Age”. Our life, our memories, our most cherished family photographs increasingly exist as bits of information – on our hard drives or in “the cloud”. But as technology moves on, they risk being lost in the wake of an accelerating digital revolution.
So what will we do if we can’t ‘google it’? My wife will be lost without Doctor Google to confirm her diagnoses; my Facebook will become friendless; my Twitter world will fall silent.
More worringly, as our present digital storage expands, so we are eliminating our more conventional hard-copy storage.
Will all that will remain of our lives be a black screen?
Maybe, after all, the Aborigines had the right idea with their cave art.