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Re: "Digital Dark Age"


Perhaps your failure to understand any of the polite discussion is that you
have been blinded by the brilliance of your own discoveries.

No one, repeat NO ONE, has implied that your efforts were not worthy of
saving. The phrase you quote (Do you READ critically or not?!?!) was "><<
...something on a grander scale than the history of a air rifle, please."
Not "grander SUBJECT" (which implies a value judgement on my part which is
not evidence here), but "grander SCALE", DT...that means "bigger" as in
longer time frame of duration, as in longer than our combined lifetimes,
man. Do you grasp that? Or do you think that such a phrase is simply more
"mostly a combination of prejudice, hearsay and what on its face appears to
be some really questionable logic?" Considering the esoterica with which
I've dealt  along the way, I would be the last to denigrate any one's
efforts at writing history (working with a collection of 60,000 8x10 glass
plates and film negatives from the Mack Truck Company is not exactly
Mainstream American Intellectual History, but it's part of a much, dare I
say, "grander" fabric and therein lies its worth: hence, the role I played
at examining, rehousing, and describing for cataloging those materials
enhanced the likelihood of their long-term preservation. And yes, some of
the images were put on CD-ROM. But as a means of ACCESS,  NOT as a means of

You really don't seem to get it.

Several of us have tried to explain to you that the method by which you
have chosen to save things may not be as robust a long-term solution  AS
YOU HAVE DECIDED IT IS (this in the face of very damning evidence to the
contrary by the very individuals whom you rebuff with your continued
comments about the failure of their logic to prove the case to you, yet
from whom you could, if you truly wished to do so, LEARN about long term
preservation). I will repeat again the URLs of two starting points:


The original essay, as it appeared on "The Edge"'s site can be found here:


These are the articles to which  Joyce Jenkins alluded back last Tuesday
and prompted all of this. Do yourself and the list a huge favor and RUN,
don't walk, to those URLs and READ the articles.

I've really nothing more to say from this point on...all else would simply
be an elaboration that might be interesting from a performance point of
view. I'm sure you'll tell me my logic is flawed, others will echo what I
have said, but you will continue unconvinced or swayed.

I have heard insanity described not as repeating the same behavior over and
over, but doing so and expecting a different result. Indulge in your dogged
pursuit if you must, but beware of your results.



>In a message dated 2/13/99 8:36:50 PM Pacific Standard Time, aldus@ANGREK.COM
><< ...something on a grander scale than the history of a air rifle, please.
> Dennis >>
>Mighty proud of my little airgun history books Dennis.  Is it a big subject?
>No, of course not. But, heaven help us if only the "grand" subjects are deemed
>worthy of saving. Having spent much time and effort working to preserve the
>knowledge I have been privilaged to obtain the only thing I might resent is
>being told that this knowledge is not worth saving.
>The reason for my dogged persuit of this issue, in the face of all odds, is
>that if I am really wrong in my thinking about longterm preservation then I
>want to know about it. Seriously! If there is a better way I want to know
>about it.  If I am looking at the future with rose colored glassed then I want
>to know precisely why this is.
>Almost everything stated by you, Dennis, and others has been this standard
>line of what appears, to me, to consist mostly a combination of prejudice,
>hearsay and what on its face appears to be some really questionable logic.  I
>could spend a lot of time pointing out these logic errors, but I'm not sure it
>would do any good or be much appreciated at this stage.
>In sum: To me - the very thought that in 100 years people will not be able to
>load and read a jpg or tif file from a CD-ROM is unimaginable. Why? Because
>today there is an installed base of over 100 million machines that can read a
>CD-ROM.  Tommorow there will be millions more.  Folks - an installed base of
>this size changes things. It wouldn't be one bit suprising if some companies a
>hundred years from now will still be using Windows 3.1   Yet, you are certain
>beyond a doubt that all of these 100's of millions of machines will have
>vanished and that nobody will be able to read a jpg file from a CD-ROM.  Bit
>astonishing really.
>Reminds me of a time I went to a Vietnam war protest. It was a terrible humid
>hot July day in Washington DC and there were warnings about police clubbings
>tear gas etc. One friend  had on boots, jeans, heavy jacket, helmet, gloves.
>Another friend wore only  thongs and shorts. When they met, both stared at
>each other as if the other was completely insane.
>dt fletcher

"That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time"
--John Stuart Mill (1806-73)

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