I’ve tried to articulate my feelings about data preservation, digital decay and the loss of our collective culture down the memory hole. I’ve written about Tears in the Rain, Magnoliloss and Linkrot. I’ve spoken about Open Data, The Long Web and All Our Yesterdays.
But all of my words are naught compared to a single piece of writing by Joel Johnson on Gizmodo. It’s called Raiding Eternity. From the memories stored on Flickr, past the seed bank of Svalbard, out to the Voyager golden record, it sweeps and soars in scope …but always with a single moment at its center, a single life, a single death.
Please read it. It is beautiful and it is truthful.
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,
Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.