The Fleeting Nature of Data

Scholarly Articles by Natalie Parker“Data that are not being used are not like books on a shelf or the family correspondence and photos stored in shoe boxes at the back of a closet. They are  more like the stacks of LPs or the 8mm family home movies in storage in a  basement. That is, digital information is not eyelegible: it is dependent on a  machine to decode and re-present the bit streams in images on a computer screen. Without that machine, and without active human intervention, those data will not last.”

I started school recently again — time for more academic thoughts!  I’ve harped before that the value of information is directly related to its accessibility.  This quote says what I’ve said before:  we need to get stuff off our hard drives so people can look at it.

Earlier: The Value of Information, Thinking About Paper and Scrapbooks

Source:  Smith, Abby. Why Digitize? Washington, DC: Council on Library and Information Resources, February 1999.

2 thoughts on “The Fleeting Nature of Data

  1. Well said!!! VERY well said!! Everything I have read the last 10 years or so says that the safest place for photos, memorabilia and your stories is in an ALBUM. But I think so much of the digital age of sharing on FB, a phone and email has taken much of people’s desire to even PRINT pictures away. They will always print them tomorrow … even though “tomorrow never comes” … ‘cuz FB/email/phones will always have the pictures. Uh huh. We all know how that ends 😦

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