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David Womack: Can Information Be Saved?

Faculty member David Womack, who will be teaching the course “Narrative and Interactivity” next spring semester, spins hot button topics like “preservation” and “sustainability” on a resource we think is all the more abundant: digital information. The vast number of news, blogs, articles, photos, and links available with a click, but just how “preservable” are they? In issue 7 of INSPIRE, Womack discusses how vast gigabytes of information is being saved, and isn’t. Below is an excerpt.

“The fact is, we are creating information at an unprecedented pace, but it is being forgotten almost as quickly. Unlike the previous records of human endeavors, which were carved in stone, pressed into clay tablets, or printed on paper, today’s digital information disappears without a trace. Websites go dark and the databases are dismantled or over-written. The disks and drives we use to store information rapidly decay. Even as the pace of information-creation has accelerated, we have fewer lasting records of the present, and are remembering less and less about our recent past.”

Photo of a large white, metal shipping container which houses the history of the internet.

The history of the Internet is contained in this box, which is 20’ by 8’ by 8’ and weighs 26,500 pounds. Credit: INSPIRE Magazine

Read the full article at INSPIRE

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