We may be creating a ‘digital dark age’

Digital generation could turn the 21st century into a new dark age lost in history, a main net pioneer has warned.

As operating systems and software get upgraded, documents and pictures saved the usage of older generation have become inaccessible, said Dr Vinton “Vint” Cerf, vice-president of Google.

In centuries to come , future historians looking back in the current era could be confronted by way of a digital wasteland similar with the dark age — the post-Roman period in Western Europe about which distinctly little is thought due to the scarcity of written information.

You may think that those pictures on Facebook or all your tweets may last forever, or might even come back to haunt you, relying on what you have accessible. But, in reality, a lot of our virtual statistics is susceptible to disappearing within the future.

Unlike in previous decades, no physical records exists nowadays for a whole lot of the digital material we very own. Your antique CD’s, as an example, will not last for more than a couple of decades. This concerns archivists and archaeologists and gives a knotty technological project.

Dr Cerf, who additionally has the title of chief internet evangelist at Google, said: “If we’re wondering 1,000 years, 3,000 years ahead inside the destiny, we need to ask ourselves, how can we maintain all of the bits that we want so as to correctly interpret the virtual items we create?

“We are nonchalantly throwing all of our records into what may want to become an facts black hole without realizing it.”

“The 22nd century and future centuries after as a way to surprise approximately us but they’ll have remarkable problem knowing lots because so much of what we’ve left at the back of may be bits which are interpretable.”

He advised human beings to reflect on consideration on printing out their precious snap shots and not depend on storing them as memory files.

“In our zeal to get enthusiastic about digitizing we digitize photos thinking it’s going to make them last longer, and we’d turn out to be wrong,” he said. “I would say if there are pics you’re truly worried about create a physical example of them. Print them out.”


Rick West, who manages data at Google says “We may [one day] know less about the early 21st century than we do about the early 20th century,” .

“The early twentieth century is still in large part primarily based on such things as paper and movie formats which are still reachable to a big extent; while, an awful lot of what we are doing now — the things we’re placing into the cloud, our virtual content material — is born digital. It is not some thing that we translated from an analog field right into a virtual field, but, in truth, it is born, and now an increasing number of dies, as digital content material, without any form of analog counterpart.”

Computer and Data specialists discuss with this period of misplaced data as the “digital dark age.”Other professionals call the 21st century an “informational black holes,” because the digital statistics we’re developing proper now might not be readable via machines and software packages of the future. All that records, they worry — our century’s virtual records — is susceptible to in no way being recoverable.

Surprisingly, a number of the world’s biggest corporations and information-based businesses still rely on a storage medium: magnetic tape. In 1952, IBM delivered the first magnetic tape facts garage machine, ushering inside the modern-day technology of electronic computing. An early tape unit could preserve about 2.3 megabytes consistent with reel on tapes.

“The medium has come a protracted way”, says Lauren younger, technological know-how Friday’s net producer and the lead reporter on a 3-component collection referred to as “file not determined,” which explores problems of facts garage (and loss) of all kinds. A single cartridge of these days’s magnetic tape can hold hundreds of terabytes of statistics, the equivalent to hundreds of thousands and thousands of books, younger says. “This past summer time, IBM elevated the amount a cartridge can hold to 330 terabytes, which is 330,000 gigabytes in keeping with cartridge. Massive groups like Google and particle physics labs like Fermilab all have big libraries of tape with thousands and hundreds of cartridges.”

Whilst most organizations use virtual technology for first-line garage, in lots of instances, magnetic tape is the backup to the backup. This, too, can present issues, inside the form of evolving magnetic codecs and a phenomenon known as “bit rot.” through the years, the digital information on tape, and in other virtual formats, can decay or degrade if it isn’t saved properly or is subjected to other destructive situations.

We as a society haven’t figured out yet how to keep the societal contract agile enough to keep up with the real rapid pace of change, and I think we have to. Technological change is not going to slow down, and it can’t just be a free for all.


26 replies to We may be creating a ‘digital dark age’

  1. really interesting, enjoyed reading this, hopefully we are not creating the dark age

  2. Your post is so right, with all these technologies what will happen few more years from now?

  3. I’m not specially technical but I do think there are a number of interesting points in your post that provide food for thought.

  4. A digital dark age!! Interesting topic. Great job!

  5. Digital dark age? Really?

    • Yes it is totally possible in the near future

  6. Interesting article. Thank you for sharing.

  7. What a thoughtful post. Internet and digitization have given us so much scope but it is mostly used to escape the reality.

  8. I do think there are a number of interesting points in your post that provide food for thought.Hopefully we are not creating the dark age.

  9. This is one of my biggest scares. My husband works on robotics so we often talk about it

    • It’s serious concern but everything is going to be fine if we could control our use of technology

  10. That sounds rather scary, you know. Now, before I put something out there on the net, I will be thinking twice.

    • Thanks 😊

  11. Never thought about technology heading into a digital dark age. But, I can see how it can move in that direction.

  12. I’m not a technology freak, but i don’t think so we are creating any digital dark age. We should know our limits, then it must be fine.

    • Well Koul Razdan you may be somewhat right , but not everyone knows their limits.

  13. This is really an interesting post. I just loved reading it.

    • Thanks​ . I really appreciate it 😃😃

  14. This is so interesting to think about. I just assumed that the way we preserved records now would ensure they’d be around forever.

  15. This is a thought provoking article. It’s so true – with so much information digital, it’s a good question what will stand the test of time. And on those photos, that’s why I’m still committed to printing out photos. Can’t fully replace the physical on those, IMHO.

    • Thanks 😄

  16. There was a time when we wanted to capture a moment, we had to have all the right photographic equipment costing hundreds of dollars, today all we need is our cell phone.

  17. I don’t think we are heading to a digital dark age, but I feel we are coming to a crossroad regarding how everything i stored. We will probably know more in the next 10 or so years.

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