Thursday, February 22, 2024

Things Are Forever On The Internet

People who have written for Vice are on social media saying they think the site might get ripped down today (or soon).  We've had a 20 year experiment in the internet being the archive and I don't think the results are very good!

I'm old enough to remember the pre-internet days.  Your tiny local newspaper had its own archive, the local public libraries had one - some combination of print and microfilm/fiche - as did your state university library.  Any decent library (such as a university) had an incredibly large microfilm/fiche archive of magazines of the 20th century.  

If you wanted to find Life Magazine, March,  1953, or Sport Illustrated, February, 1983, you probably could fairly easily.  Those things probably still persist.  I'm not sure 2012 will.

I'm just giving examples.  The point being there were multiple physical copies of everything. Nothing lasts forever - historians are always recreating the unknowable past from an imperfect archive - but it seemed like everything would persist.