September 29, 2012
The Economist wonders about the future of history in the age of bit rot:
PICTURE yourself as a historian in 2035, trying to make sense of this year’s American election campaign. Many of the websites and blogs now abuzz with news and comment will have long since perished. Data stored electronically decays. Many floppy disks from the early digital age are already unreadable. If you are lucky, copies of campaign material, and of e-mails and other materials (including declassified official documents), will be available in public libraries.
But will you be able to read them?
We have a long way to go before we can safely say we have solved this issue.