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All of our digital platforms and systems, from the social media networks we post on every day, to the storage services we rely on to back up our most important files, to the infrastructures that power our digital world economy, are vulnerable to irretrievable data loss. Over time, file formats, applications, and operating systems go obsolete. Legacy systems become impenetrable. The migration of data to new systems risks breaking the chain of information transmission.

~ Ahmed Kabil from, https://longnow.org/ideas/02020/02/26/the-permanent-legacy-foundation-wants-to-preserve-your-digital-legacy-for-future-generations/

Data loss is a tremendous issue. (I’m setting aside the other problem of data which stays around despite our desire for it to go away.) All forms of data storage “rot” in some fashion or another. (Because, entropy.) It’s not so much about our storing data, as it is about our continuously moving data forward to better—which isn’t always the newer or newest technology at hand—storage. Don’t think “data storage,” but rather think “data movage.”

I’ve absolutely mastered the art of wringing maximum utility for me out of all of the data I create. But in terms of post-mortem— well, it seems a lot harder for me to actually care about that, so I’ve ignored it. While I’ve not gotten behind the Permanent Legacy Foundation myself, it is interesting none the less. I sometimes wonder if my slipbox is worth wondering about preserving? …what about my journals? (They could be a treasure trove of research data on mental illness.) …what about the thousands of pages on this blog? …what about my collection of quotes? …physical (slides, prints) or digital photography?

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