PDA

View Full Version : print vs screen



bruno
05-07-2006, 12:30 PM
it's clear there are writers on this forum, and presumably a good part publish in electronic form. i wondered if you care about the fact that much of what you write and backup isn't going to survive the next decade or two? this occurred to me on finishing a book, amazed at the proximity of voice and ideas, then flipping to the back cover to remind myself when this was written: around 65 AD. i don't see hard disks lasting this long.

noel emits
05-07-2006, 12:52 PM
There are things like this:

http://www.archive.org/web/web.php

Although I suppose it can't take account of subscription services at present.

I love that it's mirrored at Alexandria.

john eden
05-07-2006, 04:10 PM
I'm quite glad a lot of writing I did 10-15 years ago is now unavailable, personally.

brrrapadelic
09-08-2006, 06:25 PM
I'm sure the book you were reading wasn't printed in 65 AD. I would say the problem is exactly the opposite, it's so much easier to make copies nowadays that an awful lot of crap is going to survive. Whereas in 65 AD it took an awful lot of effort to copy a piece of book-length writing.

nomos
09-08-2006, 07:11 PM
The volatilty of digital archives is vexing in a lot of ways.

I read a while back that, in the 1980s, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation committed a large portion of its video archive to a custom-developed laser disk format. Years later, the disks remained but no one had thought to preserve the playback machines or to transfer the material to more current formats. I think, in the end, they had to rebuild one of the machines in order to retrieve the stuff.

Web-based text is odd in a different way. It doesn't just disappear, but it can change over time, and not necessarily for very good reasons. Stories on sites like BBC News, NYT, etc. are constantly being revised, sometimes , both on the day of publication and subsequently, often as a result of political or corporate pressure. A writer might reference a particular article which said one thing at the time of her/his writing, only for it to tell a different stroy when a reader follows the link. I always take a PDF snapshot of anything I'm referencing for that reason. Outside of morning and afternoon editions of a newspaper, that sort of disappearance of text doesn't occur in print. The storyline might change in subsequent editions but the original document persists.

jenks
09-08-2006, 07:41 PM
The volatilty of digital archives is vexing in a lot of ways.



Web-based text is odd in a different way. It doesn't just disappear, but it can change over time, and not necessarily for very good reasons. Stories on sites like BBC News, NYT, etc. are constantly being revised, sometimes , both on the day of publication and subsequently, often as a result of political or corporate pressure.

Outside of morning and afternoon editions of a newspaper, that sort of disappearance of text doesn't occur in print. The storyline might change in subsequent editions but the original document persists.

Isn't this what Winston Smith does all day in 1984?

nomos
09-08-2006, 07:57 PM
Isn't this what Winston Smith does all day in 1984?His life would have been so much simpler with a web-based, database driven content management system.

Tweak Head
10-08-2006, 01:09 PM
His life would have been so much simpler with a web-based, database driven content management system.

Ha ha! So would Big Brother's ...