Aleks Krotoski explores when captivates and beguiles and asks if the digital world can measure up to the real one.
Tagged with “digital” (36)
Young Americans are reading more than just status updates and 140-character tweets. A new study by the Pew Research Center shows that among 16- to 29-year-olds, 8 in 10 have read a book in the past year. That’s compared with 7 in 10 among adults in general.
Alex Krotoski asks what the digital world tells us about ourselves. This week: Memory. How are digital devices changing our memories and our perception of intelligence?
On the eve of dConstruct 2012, Jeremy Keith hosts an evening of readings and chat with three of the brightest stars of the science-fiction world at the Pavilion Theatre in Brighton.
- Lauren Beukes, author of Moxyland, Zoo City, and The Shining Girls.
- Jeff Noon, author of Vurt, Automated Alice, and Channel SK1N.
- Brian Aldiss OBE, author of Hothouse, Nonstop, and the Helliconia trilogy.
Event details: http://brightonsf.adactio.com/
Jason Scott is a man on a mission — save all the things.
But what does “save” mean in the modern world, in the waterfall of personal and private data, and where do we even begin? Turning on the history-o-matic, Jason provides a backdrop to our attempts to “save”, what has been done, and what we can do. The talk will be fast-paced and loud, like a hard drive at the end of its life.
Jason Scott is a force of nature, tirelessly dedicated to preserving our digital history, from old-school game manuals to the latest social networking sites hell-bent on sucking our collective culture into “the cloud.”
He is also a documentary film maker. He made BBS: The Documentary and Get Lamp, all about text adventure games.
In the run-up to the destruction of Geocities, Jason set up Archive Team, a collective of volunteers who back up first and ask questions later. He now works for the Internet Archive, though he is at pains to point out that he does not speak for them.
And yet, despite all his achievements, Jason will probably never be as well-known as his cat Sockington, who has over a million followers on Twitter.
Hosts Phil Bowermaster and Stephen Gordon discuss the quest for immortality, which has been with humanity for a long time — perhaps since the very beginning, and which has done much to shape the world in which we live. New organizations are emerging with a whole new take on the proposition that life can be extended indefinitely.
How do we get from here to there? The phases might look something like this:
Durable Digital Replacements
So, will some of us live forever? And what does that even mean?
On Start the Week Andrew Marr looks into the digital future. Nick Harkaway dismisses fears of a digital dystopia in which distracted people, caught between the real world and the screen world, are under constant surveillance. He believes we need to engage with the computers we have created, and shape our own destiny. Simon Ings is the editor of a new digital magazine, Arc, which uses science fiction to explore and explain what the future might hold for society. While Anab Jain’s design company uses scenarios and prototypes to probe emerging technologies and ideas, from headsets to help the blind to see, to everyday objects with their very own internet connection. And Charles Arthur investigates the battle for dominance of the internet with Apple, Google and Microsoft struggling to stay on top, and asks what that means for the rest of us.
Start The Week sets the cultural agenda for the week ahead, with high-profile guests discussing the ideas behind their work in the fields of art, literature, film, science, history, society and politics.
A presentation about history, networks, and digital preservation, from the Webstock conference held in Wellington, New Zealand in February 2012.
Our perception and measurement of time has changed as our civilisation has evolved. That change has been driven by networks, from trade routes to the internet. Now that we have the real-time web allowing instantaneous global communication, there’s a danger that we may neglect our legacy for the future. While the web has democratised publishing, allowing anyone to share ideas with a global audience, it doesn’t appear to be the best medium for preserving our cultural resources: websites and documents disappear down the digital memory hole every day. But we can change that. This presentation will offer an alternative history of technology and a fresh perspective on the future that is ours to save.
For over 20 years the web has provided continuous deluge of cultural production. Digital artifacts such as websites, images, and videos have much to communicate about our social and cultural evolution, and yet their messages or moments can be fleeting or quickly lost. Both the accessibility and longevity of digital content are subject to a wide range of risks, from technological obsolescence to outright deletion by their creator or host. So what is being done to preserve these cultural objects for the long term? Approaching web content from a cultural and artistic perspective, this panel will convene leading writers, archivists, thinkers and technologists to discuss to the questions, challenges, and imperatives involving preserving the creative culture of the web. We’ll cover topics like "what is the long-term significance of a website, and why would it be worth preserving?", "should web sites and artifacts be treated like works of art or architecture?", and "how do we go about archiving digital content to ensure its accessibility and longevity?". Example initiatives to be discussed will be the Archive Team’s various projects (such as the Geocities torrent), the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, Internet Archeology, and the Rhizome ArtBase. This panel will be presented by Rhizome, an organization dedicated to the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology.
Universal access to all knowledge, Kahle declared, will be one of humanity’s greatest achievements. We are already well on the way. "We’re building the Library of Alexandria, version 2. We can one-up the Greeks!"
Start with what the ancient library had—-books. The Internet Library already has 3 million books digitized. With its Scribe Book Scanner robots—-29 of them around the world—-they’re churning out a thousand books a day digitized into every handy ebook format, including robot-audio for the blind and dyslexic. Even modern heavily copyrighted books are being made available for free as lending-library ebooks you can borrow from physical libraries—-100,000 such books so far. (Kahle announced that every citizen of California is now eligible to borrow online from the Oakland Library’s "ePort.")
As for music, Kahle noted that the 2-3 million records ever made are intensely litigated, so the Internet Archive offered music makers free unlimited storage of their works forever, and the music poured in. The Archive audio collection has 100,000 concerts so far (including all the Grateful Dead) and a million recordings, with three new bands every day uploading.
Moving images. The 150,000 commercial movies ever made are tightly controlled, but 2 million other films are readily available and fascinating—-600,000 of them are accessible in the Archive already. In the year 2000, without asking anyone’s permission, the Internet Archive started recording 20 channels of TV all day, every day. When 9/11 happened, they were able to assemble an online archive of TV news coverage all that week from around the world ("TV comes with a point of view!") and make it available just a month after the event on Oct. 11, 2001.
The Web itself. When the Internet Archive began in 1996, there were just 30 million web pages. Now the Wayback Machine copies every page of every website every two months and makes them time-searchable from its 6-petabyte database of 150 billion pages. It has 500,000 users a day making 6,000 queries a second.
"What is the Library of Alexandria most famous for?" Kahle asked. "For burning! It’s all gone!" To maintain digital archives, they have to be used and loved, with every byte migrated forward into new media evey five years. For backup, the whole Internet Archive is mirrored at the new Bibliotheca Alexadrina in Egypt and in Amsterdam. ("So our earthquake zone archive is backed up in the turbulent Mideast and a flood zone. I won’t sleep well until there are five or six backup sites.")
Speaking of institutional longevity, Kahle noted during the Q & A that nonprofits demonstrably live much longer than businesses. It might be it’s because they have softer edges, he surmised, or that they’re free of the grow-or-die demands of commercial competition. Whatever the cause, they are proliferating.
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