Sunday, September 29, 2013

Latest technology renders a prehistoric generation?

Among all the big topics on the talking head programs this weekend was the fact that schools in most states don't require learning cursive handwriting anymore, the excuse being that literacy isn't dependent on that, that keyboarding is the thing to learn in gradeschool.

I'm stepping forward to point out that if Plato had that technology back in his day, we wouldn't have a clue as to who he was, let alone what he wrote, because when technology becomes just two years old, it's perishable, let alone thousands of years.  Think about what the term "prehistoric" actually means.  As in, history that pre-dates written record.

Just because data is written on silicon, it's not really carved in stone.  Picture an archaeologist digging up an ancient personal thumb drive 2000 years from now. Has he discovered the personal letters of some famous person of the past?  I'll bet he'll never know.

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The Friday immediately following the date of this post was a day that NHK World ran a story about how the Chinese government expressed similar issues with basic Chinese spelling and it's now periodically running lesson blurbs on China state media, even where it's explaining the root of the nature of Chinese characters, at their basis, hieroglyphic. Hmmm.

November UPDATE: Doris Kearns Goodwin echoed the above sentiment at the 2013 Miami Book Fair International on a panel discussing presidential history (took place on November 24), observing that letters on paper won't exist, by and large, for our current era and therefore it's a lot that's going to be lost to future historians.  In another posting regarding the Enid City Council, I did say to Google this and that about stuff that happened just a few years ago, let alone decades ago, and because much of what I wrote back then has been taken off of the Internet by the hosts of those websites, I'm sure nobody can google, say, HuffPo's Off The Bus project prior to the time that HuffPo was sold to AOL.  There's a lot that's lost, including my old MySpace blog.  Gone.  Well, gone off of the Internet, that is.  I did make a point of making my own archives of that, but as to the rest? Poof.  And Google no longer produces archived (cached) stuff in its searches anymore.  It used to.
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