[Foundation-l] Long-term archiving of Wikimedia content

Platonides Platonides at gmail.com
Thu May 7 00:13:48 UTC 2009

Aryeh Gregor wrote:
> Actually, there are more assumptions: you have to assume that humanity
> *ever* recovers, and within a period of time when people will still
> understand written English.  You'd have to calibrate the magnitude of
> a catastrophe *very* carefully to get a situation where civilization
> collapses, to the extent that none of the hundreds of millions of
> computers on the planet remains functional for long enough to print
> out any needed info (even using wood/biomass-powered backup
> generators, or emergency fuel supplies) . . . but you still have
> people who can read English around.  People are more fragile than
> computers, and not much more numerous.

In that futuristic approach I find it more likely that there will be no
paper / printer, but instead everthing will be stored into
computers/PDAs and transfered between them. So in the event of the
catastrophe you'd be only able to access it with the surviving devices.

Suppose that it does happen *today*.
All electronic systems collapse but the ones at your home.
Also, you cannot produce new ones.
You have a copy of wikipedia on your hard disk. You can access it.
But your computer lifetime is finite. And you also don't know for how
much time you'll still have electric current.
What do you do?

Were I in such situation, I wouldn't have enough paper or ink to do so.
I wouldn't either be able to do so in the needed timeframe before the
electric current is cut. Also, I don't think my hardware is prepared to
handle such amount of work.

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