2 Replies to “Socrates, Edison, and GLaDOS walk into an archive”

  1. Who would have thought that reading a blog post in Digital Preservation class would make me want to replay Portal 2 so badly?

    I’m no engineer, but I wouldn’t bet on us having reached a technological plateau in information technology. Historically, people that say “we’ve gone as far as we can go” in a particular area of technology don’t have a great track record.

    In the immediate future I have been hearing a lot of buzz about data storage on DNA, held in suspension in bottles or gel packs. In the future, will aspiring archivists need to take biotechnology courses? Will we need to worry about our archives catching colds? [http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2016/04/microsoft-experiments-with-dna-storage-1000000000-tb-in-a-gram/]

    1. Nathan,

      I suppose the idea of a technological plateau raises another problem: is it even possible to reach a plateau with tech that deteriorates so rapidly, even in disuse or ‘suspended animation’? We can no longer settle down with a familiar medium like the codex and leave it be for five hundred years. After all, it’s not as though someone 500 years from now will dig up an ancient, half-destroyed Dell and be able to turn it on to play minesweeper (or Portal 2 for that matter, which is really a shame).

      The idea of an archive catching a cold is a fascinating one! And yes, it does seem more and more that archivists must be quasi-masters of various sciences. Chemistry, computer science, programming, and perhaps one day biotech. It makes you wonder what sort of training the MLIS students of the future will have, and if traditional analog archives will fall further to the wayside in lieu of the high-maintenance, high-demand digital (and bio?) archives of the future.

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