The coming of a Digital Dark Age: Vint Cerf sends warning of loss of all digital personals


Google vice-president and notable “father of the internet” Vint Cerf says he fears future generations will have little to no record of the 21st Century as we enter what he considers to be called a “digital Dark Age”. Could he be rational about something the fall of something so essential to our standard of living today? Every memory we have is capable of being saved and viewed later in the comfort of our own computers, drives, and emails, but with everything being saved through websites and clouds, what’s the use for having personal hardware and software anymore?

Vint Cerf made his remarks at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Jose, California. He goes on to say that all of our most personal and important pieces of information, to include our family photographs and memories that we have stored via internet or hard drives, may be lost as time within the digital revolution continues to gain momentum.

“In our zeal to get excited about digitizing, we digitizing photographs thinking it going to make them last longer, and we might turn out to be wrong,” he said. “i would say if there are photos you are really concerned about, create a physical instance of them. Print them out.”

He also continues to express how many will believe that important documents will be copied into new media, when this is not always the case.

“Some people make the argument that the important stuff will be copied and put into new media and so why should we worry,” Cerf said. “But historians will tell you that sometimes transactions documents and images and so on may turn out to have importance which is not understood for hundreds of years. So failure to preserve them will cause us to lose our perspective.” With that type of logic, we should just drop digitizing altogether and go back to pen and paper, only to realize how time and moisture will cause the ink to run. Then in an effort to solve that dilemma, we go back to chiseling and stone tablets. See where I am going with this?

Need to not worry, there is talk of an idea referred to as the “Digital vacuum,” in every way where the file is created, stored and is opened along with the document itself. This is supposed to give Scientists and IT specialists of the future the ability to following the instructions given to reproduce the files.


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