Blog Archive

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Electromagnetic Ephemera

While digitizing audio, video tape, photos, slides and other media it occurred to me how fleeting this current digital medium really is. Even in a Quantum Computer information is stored by arranging a few Qubits. One still needs a Quantum Computer medium to acquire the information. I have retained a floppy disk reader for my computer to read these when they show up, and I have reel to reel audio players and record players for vinyl records; the latter having made a resurgence due to the fidelity quality over digital. Some medium have become extinct such as video disk players and Betamax video tape players. The VHS video players can still be had. Still, the plethora of Formats have even made CDs and DVDs non interchangeable as are many Online Formats regularly in use now. The non standardization of Formats hurts the Industry I feel. All of this adds to the fact that the electronic medium is even less permanent. Think of the gold record album aboard the Voyager spacecraft that so recently left the Solar System for deep space preserving sound bites from both the natural and human made with instructions on how to play back the recordings for any aliens that might get a hold of it. The charts included tell the presumably benevolent aliens where we live and what we look like without any clothing. The male of the species is waving a greeting while standing next to his female counterpart. We are optimistic someone will find it that is at least as friendly and curious as we are. They may not be able to pay us a visit or return the greeting, but at least they get it. Previous generations have had pen and paper, papyrus and vellum, movable type and typewriters, stone and clay tablets or wax tablets, to name just a few. This generation can more easily transcend language barriers, while having trouble sharing context and dialectical nuance. We have filled many more landfill dumps than our ancestors and choked the world with our waste and manufactured goods. No one can possibly forget us as a generation or civilization so that we can be hidden in plain sight in History's Timeline.