I’m old enough to remember going into friends houses and seeing their display of culture and knowledge in physical form. Want to know what books someone has read, the movies and music they like. You could by taking the tour, interacting with your host and learning many insights into their personality.
Are you interested in preserving history the knowledge of society, owing videos and music. It is becoming increasing harder these days to do so. Newspapers and Magazines are being replaced by so called online equals. Every time you turn around you are “purchasing” the “right to use, view or read”. There is no ownership, there is no right to store this away for 100 years. The middle class is becoming the class that doesn’t own information and in the future if you don’t own information you will be a slave to those who do own the information. We will go back to pre-printing press times, except worse because there might not be a way for individuals to save the information they think is important. You will be relying on the whim of some company’s service. When is the last time you received information from your employer, school, government or company that was in a form you could save for the years. Many more times it’s a web link, an email or simply a click to agree I read check box. Where does this leave us all?
As we continue to move towards a more digital economy and processes I worry that consumers will become The Digitally Poor Class, a new class of people, a very large class of people who will not have the means or methods to find or use historical data. Imagine if the history of wars was only available online. What about political races, court cases, etc. How will my grandchildren find out all sides of the War on Terror? What will replace the published materials of the losing side, the winning side can simply remove them. Look at what Europe is forcing Google to do. The Right to be Forgotten. Unbelievably harmful to the worlds history. By the time my grandchildren take history class it is very possible that the media outlets will be controlled by very few individuals. How can we be sure that all sides of any issue will be preserved. What happens if your point of view just went away. How will we learn from our mistakes? How would the future generations know our history, and what history there is might not be complete and it might be on purpose not because it was “lost”.