Today was a day where some old file sorting happened. On a regular basis the number of files I’m using is fairly limited. My backup has built up way more files over the years that I seriously wonder about sometimes. This massive collection of files stored to the cloud just hangs out and does nothing really. I’m not entirely sure why I still keep it all and back it up with such care. One of the strategies that I have been considering is just setting up a new folder and putting on the files that really matter to me in that one and then at some point allowing the rest to vanish from existence. To be fair about the whole thing I’m guessing that some of those files are not necessary and probably should not have been saved in the first place. The degree to which my digital pack-rat-ness was effective is somewhat astonishing at this point.
Sadly, I’m not the only one with massive collections of archived documents in a variety of clouds. Something is going to happen to all these clouds as people end up abandoning their files over time. I have a plan for my main cloud account where without any action on my part for 90 days the files are shared out. I’m not sure exactly what the people who are slated to get access to these files will end up doing with them and it might just be an overwhelming pile of digital artifacts. Within the grand aggregate of cloud files I’m really wondering about how many of them are needed or if we have just created a reality where data center after data center is busy keeping records of nothing really. That is a thought related to both data permanence and necessity. While I cannot bring myself to just hit delete on all the files and move along I’m sure that is the inevitable outcome unless we learn how to store files on crystals. At that point, it won’t matter how much data people want to store forever it will be possible. The bigger question will be if anybody ever does anything with all those stored files on what I’m sure will be a mountain like pile of data storage crystals.
One of the things I have started doing within my more academic side writing pursuits is finding ways to publish and store my work in places outside of my weblog or my cloud storage. That public type of sharing is in an effort to help the writing stand the test of time in a better way. It is an attempt to achieve some type of data permanence based on making the content accessible. My weblog is scraped by the way back machine which does mean that my writings here are generally backed up beyond the ways that I back them up. You can if you wanted to scroll across the years and see the various weblog styles and other elements that go back a long time within that archive. That is one of the ways that the internet itself is backup up and accessible to people interested in that type of archive. I’m always curious about the freshness of a weblog and nostalgic browsing of things from 20 years ago does not really appeal to me at the moment.