The term ‘The Dark Ages‘ has come to mean a period in history that we know very little about, in large part because today we lack any historical records that can shed light on that period of time. If it wasn’t written down in some form that survived until today then we don’t know about it and hence think of the period as dark.
The amazing thing (if you stop and think about it) about writing things down on something like vellum or paper is:
- you don’t need any special equipment to read it
- it can survive for 100s or 1,000s of years
How long do you think this post on the internet will last?
What special equipment are you using to read it right now?
Will that equipment be around 50, 150, 250 years from now?
The Internet Archive attempts to store some of the most important (in its opinion) parts of the internet as a series of snapshots. You’ll find it at the appropriately named URL: http://www.archive.org and can read more about it in this Guardian article.
It’s a modern day Library of Alexandria.
Thinking a little closer to home, how do you make sure that all the digital things in your life – music, pictures, contacts, email from friends, Facebook posts, tweets, videos – are archived? Have you got your own mini-Internet Archive of the things you treasure? If not, why not?