Will dead media ever end?
© Anthony Lawrence, aplawrence.com
(link dead, sorry)
mentions the growing piles of dead media and says:
Curiously, the apex of lost media is in our own era. The problem cannot get worse than it is. The irony is that this is an era where unprecedented technological revolutions are taking place, and yet we're losing important information. This has to be as tragic as the burning of the Great Library of Alexandria around 47 BC.
There is a bright spot, though. We also have a lot of very living media on the web, and a lot of that has been archived by various projects, or just duplicated by cross-referencing and even theft. But John's column made me wonder how long it will be before storage technology settles into the "one method".
At some point we reach the limitations of physics: we can't pack it any tighter, can't read or write it any faster. At that point, there is no more innovation or change. You might argue that you never really know when you have reached those limits because basic theories could be dead wrong, but that just moves the argument: somewhere, sometime, the theories are correct, the universe really does work this way, and you can't do more than what the theory says are the limits.
But it's probably going to happen before that.
"Good enough" is probably not something we're quite in site of yet, but I don't think it's all that far away. In the personal computer market, let's say you could be connected to a few terabytes of your own data and that you never had to wait more than a fraction of a second to get any of it. That's probably more than enough, and you could start to see standardization that would lock in that technology for many, many years. Maybe it wouldn't even take that much, but whatever it takes is not likely to be banging at the doors of theoretical limits.
Or maybe I'm wrong. Maybe we will always need more and more, and will not see stability until we reach the real limits. I don't think so, but I might just live long enough to find out.
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