Today's Data in a Few Hundred Years

Discussion in 'Science & History' started by Mirage, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    A lot has happened within the past 500 years. Even the past 100 years.

    Can you imagine what it would be like to have an infinite amount of data such as video blogs, blogs, facebook profiles, email accounts, etc from people from hundreds of years ago? We'd have videos and audio of people like Leonardo da Vinci.

    Think about the year 2500 or even 2100+. There will be such a huge amount of data on the people living now. How cool would it be to be able to go back and watch YouTube videos from a few hundred years ago? Sure technology will change a ton by then but I imagine people will do everything possible to preserve data from century to century.

    I mean, perhaps this very thread will be talked about in schools in 200 years after being pulled from some archive. :lol:

    How creepy would it be to be able to go back and watch videos of people talking to their friends, read facebook profiles, etc. Whether these things are still around by then is one thing, but I think it's fairly safe to say that they will be archived somehow.

    Also, just look at the amount of news items that are archived daily on hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of websites? There will be so much stuff to read through (for those who even care) in the future. Talk about the ultimate in exploring past civilizations though.

    History books in a few hundred years (I say books but for all we know books will be gone by then) will have a ton more information just between now and then than everything we know about the entire world so far.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009

  2. SuiGeneris

    SuiGeneris blue 3

    God I hate to think how they are going to view us. Think about the many idiotic videos on facebook. I mean half of the videos in facebook would be an embaressment culturally. Think about the "leave brittany alone" kid. What if he...above all else represented our era. *shudders* Hopefully they view the political environment and the strive for equality and push of knowledge before they view our personal records and postings. Otherwise...we'll be the next cave men.
  3. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Commercials in the future.

    "It's so easy, even a 21th century human could do it!" :shake:

    You have to think the really good videos would make it into archives too.

    Technically movies are all stored digitally now. In 500 years they could be watching movies that were made 500 years ago. Now that's just awesome if you ask me. Talk about actors being immortal and everything. As long as the earth isn't destroyed by then there's a decent chance future centuries can look back on quite a bit from nowadays.

    I mean how cool would it be to be able to look back a few hundred years and see some of the stuff we have today, yet about people who lived hundreds of years ago? It's a pretty cool concept to say the least.
  4. Major

    Major 4 legs good 2 legs bad V.I.P.

    This reminds me of a short story an old friend from another forum wrote and is one of the coolest, most mind-boggling things I've ever read. Definitely check it out if you have a few minutes.

    I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library @ Things Of Interest

    It's pretty crazy to think about all the data we already have stored, and how much more we'll be able to store in the future. The way technology has progressed just in our lifetimes, imagine what it'll be like a few hundred years from now. I bet all the data in the world will be able to be stored on a single hard drive, or whatever they're using to store data in the future.
  5. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    I'm thinking data will be stored in a very different manner in the future that would require transforming all current data in that format. Not all would be considered worthy of the trouble of the conversion and we'd still have files saved in old formats that would be difficult to access by people from the future (given they aren't trained to handle old equipment, assuming they still exist). It would take "experts" to pull out an archive. :lol: Kind of like when we're trying to read manuscripts or symbols in the early centuries. They probably thought that time "wow, imagine when people from the future would have all this information available for them" not thinking that we rely heavily now on wikipedia instead of books, much less a compilation of original manuscripts that we need to decode.

    This type phenomenon already exist these days and we're just talking about information/data available in the past decades, not even centuries. News stories that were available on paper (the internet not yet existing that time)...not all of them are transferred as digital file although at best they may have microfilms available. Old records that weren't made into casette tapes or CDs. You can play them using a turntable but kids who grew up looking for the "play" button to hear music won't even know how to play the vinyl. New generations would look at a floppy disk and think, what the eff is that and how do we get the information from it? Unless EVERY information gets transferred and upgraded according to the new system.
  6. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    Well you have to think that huge companies like YouTube (Google too of course), Facebook, Microsoft, etc will exist in some form well into the next hundreds of years. I mean, I could be way off base but it seems like the amount of data stored on those servers alone would be worth billions. Even if the companies end up selling, splitting, reselling, merging, and whatnot, the data will be retained in some form because the companies aren't going to simply go out of business and shut down completely, destroying all files.

    Sure stuff on personal computers might not stand the test of time but when a company becomes big enough, it takes quite a bit to wipe it from the earth completely. If Google were to completely go bankrupt, you can be sure they'd sell their servers before just deleting them.
  7. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    It's possible they're maintained in servers especially established companies but what if they close? I do remember I used to frequent a site 11 years ago and it was a big social forum thing back then. Then they closed, which was surprising, and there was no way to access the files anymore. The closest thing I've gotten to that is when you posted Google 2000 (or was it 99) and it had an archive of the home page (but just that, pictures and threads were lost).

    With emails, some tend to delete your entire account (including all emails stored) after a period of inactivity. That's what happened to my hotmail accounts before. Even if I got the chance to revive my msn email, the inbox was back to zero because they couldn't retrieve old emails anymore. And that's a big email company. Once a person dies, and no one checks the account, the email information would most likely get deleted.

    And even if they all got transferred in the server and not deleted, who knows what the next big thing is in a hundred years in terms of information storage. That's why I think while at present they can be saved, when the time of a new technology comes that makes it expensive or time consuming to convert files, people would just pick some data to reformat and leave the rest in the old servers (which, as understandable as they are now, may be an alien concept to people in the future centuries).
  8. Mirage

    Mirage Administrator Staff Member V.I.P.

    My point is that if a company like YouTube or even all of Google were to close down, they aren't just going to delete their data. The chances of them closing anytime soon are slim anyway, but if it happens in our lifetime you can be sure that all that data is backed up somewhere in several facilities across the world. It would likely be bought by another company and saved, used somehow in the future.

    As for a forum closing, unless it was really big and backed up then chances are it might be gone for good. That's a lot different than some of these HUGE companies though that own half of the internet.
  9. ysabel

    ysabel /ˈɪzəˌbɛl/ pink 5

    It was like the facebook of that time not just another forum. I just mentioned it because you talked about blogs, facebook and email accounts...the types which, in my experience don't really keep archives.

    You're not addressing my other point though. Even if youtube and google managed to keep their servers, do you really think data storage in several hundred years would be the same? And you really believe that all of it would not only be stored, but upgraded and converted for each data storage technology that comes up? That's what I think wouldn't happen, because like in my examples in the previous post, not all information available in previous methods of storing data are converted even to the current digital system. They're kept as they were before. Yes, they're still there, but they won't be easily retrieved especially after generations of people not knowing anymore how the old systems work.
  10. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    Unless the more than likely scenario is the servers are recycled and all data on them destroyed.(interesting Link)

    This planet does not have infinite resources. Metals become precious, especially during hard times(like war).4

    The other factor is we humans generally dont care for the present. If you look at archeology of Roman sites the best information and finds generally come from rubbish tips. Unless something is seen as exquisite it will be tossed aside.

    Back in the 1950-60's when MDF and plyboard became popular my Grandfather took all his old furniture out the house and chucked it in the river. As antiques these items would now be worth a few thousand but to him they were worthless. Same with our Youtube videos, not only that the sheer quantity of it(which we must admit is garbage) further lowers the value. I even threw my Atari 2600 in the bin once I was done with it:shake:

    I dont think much will be left from this time period, we use paper and digital mediums to record all our doings, neither are likely to survive the test of time with any significance.

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