Some history isn't just repeated, it's practiced and refined.
Some history isn't just repeated, it's practiced and refined.
Yes, I am worried about the "modern" tendency to rely on electronics for EVERYTHING.
When the "lights go out" (btw this WILL happen sometime), virtually ALL knowledge will be lost.
Knowledge in printed form, (ie books) tends to be more reliable than "electronic" knowledge, electronic knowledge can be very easily manipulated and altered, books on the other hand reflect an unchanging view at the time of publication, and once printed reflect the knowledge AT THAT POINT IN TIME.
Newer editions of a book are easily compared with older editions of the same book, to see any changes that have been made, this is not always possible with electronic records.
Books can be translated and read at any point in any feasable timeline, in other words books endure, whereas electronic media is dependant on technology.
How many of you have hardware that can still read 3.5" disks ?.
Electronic Archiving is also a real problem, how long does electronic media remain stable and readable, magnetic media has a FAR shorter lifespan than ordinary printed media.
I must therefore categorically state THAT ELECTRONIC MEDIA IS NOT THE WAY TO GO FOR LONG TERM PRESERVATION OF KNOWLEDGE.
Another thing to bear in mind is, do the "authorities" WANT long term preservation of knowledge.
My viewpoints on this subject.
I've been tidying up my place and decided to part with my complete Encyclopaedia Britannica from the 40's. I thought someone would be happy to have it for free. Turned out all second hand bookshops said no one wants an analog encyclopaedia these days and no one replied to my give-away adds. I was going to drop a volume in the garbage every now and then but I can't bring myself to do it - too much respect somehow.
You might ask the local retirement homes if any of them want an encyclopaedia. A lot of those old folks never learned how to deal with computers.
Retirement homes are often in need of good books. If you are looking to clean house to rid of old books they will gladly take them.
From what I understand is that we are just one direct hit from and X Flare away from a complete power grid wipe out. I also understand that the transformers we would need to replace need AT LEAST an 18 month lead time to deliver since they are coming from Korea and perhaps one other place overseas. If my information is accurate, then we could face at least an 18 months blackout in vast areas of the United States. At the very least that will make access to electronic data very limited.
According to what I've read, we are over due for an X Flare of sufficient power to wipe out our grid. The last one sufficient to do the job occurred in the mid 1800's when we had no reliance on electricity, hence it just made some pretty lights in the sky very far south.
I don't know if there is any EMP associated with an X Flare, but if there is then electronic storage media, like flash drives, might be affected as well.
All in all I think the level of reliance on computers and other electronics is not "prudent." I am quite comfortable living all 19th Century(with electricity for my computer an microwave of course ) I have been by choice for the last several months to see what it is like. I only ever run my AC if I have guests over so I won't be too bothered by a complete power outage.
An 18 month power blackout would not just mean limited access to BFC, Wikipedia, and Facebook. It would mean 1/2 the people dying (starvation, thirst, lack of medical care, freezing).
More time to read. Listen to Bladeforums on the tube radio.
My parents bought the 1973 World Book for my brother and I, and I consider it one of the most profound influences that made me the person I am today. We lived in a crappy singlewide trailer until I was 13 and were hardly even lower middle class, but somehow they found the money for that set of encyclopedias. On rainy days with nothing else to do my brother and I would grab a volume and just start scanning it for interesting articles. I'm not boasting or exaggerating when I say that I've read the entire encyclopedia from cover to cover. Sadly I have no idea what has happened since 1974
I learned how people make babies from the World Book--that alone was reason enough to always cherish volume "R".
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I don't own an assault weapon. I own a counter-assault weapon.
Thank you for that post. I need to call my mother today and thank her for buying the set for me as a kid. (My dad's been dead for years now.)
Doesn't sound like my folks were as broke as yours were, but I'm sure it was a lot more of a hardship on them than I ever realized.
Triton and others who understand the true significance of this problem. There is already a book that has been written on this very thing and the results are disastrous. One good solar flare or an emp release and whamo were in the dark ages again literally. The guy that wrote the book did an interview on some radio talk show that I happened to catch while driving one day. He talks about not just the books but dependency on financial and scientific calculators, gps, and all kinds of stuff and says if a enough time passes before an event actually happens there will be huge technology gap and we as a people will have to go backwards and actually learn how to do certain things again manually and then remake millions of discoveries on our own again just to go back to where we were whenever the event happened. I can't remember the name of the author or book but is was really interesting to hear this guys thesis more or less about all of this. This was sometime back when I heard it, and he rattled off a statistic about how the knowledge base of the entire world because of our technological advances such as computers had accelerated knowledge and learning to such a pace that as of the year 2000 approximately 70% of the worlds knowledge base had been acquired since 1970. 30 years equals 70% of everything we know.
Then siting anecdotal things like we have no real idea of how certain ancient things were built like the pyramids and some of the myian temples, etc. and how long ago that was and how much time had passed and how little the knowledge base had grown over such a long period and yet we still did not know exactly how they built these things with such great precision. Naturally he juxtaposed that with how short a time period had gone by since 1970 and how large the knowledge base had increased and how because of technology is continuing to increase virtually exponentially now and used to that to prop up his theory if you will. Scary stuff for sure, books have a purpose, just like slide rules, number two pencils and sexton's. We should always insure were teaching each generation the old school manual ways of doing things for this very reason. The most dis concerning part of the whole interview was when he spoke about the power grid, military and supply chains, bottom line is were in real trouble.
Reminds me of this recent article -
A link to the study it mentions -
Never had the pleasure/privilege to own the Britannica's but every weekend we'd go to my grandfolk's/aunt's home where my cousin had this lovely set of Funk and Wagnal's Wildlife Encyclopedia. Good memories of good books and also instilled in me a love of nature, animals and exploring far-off places.
With regards to the "paper vs. digital" evolution, I say simply; "Pulp must not die!"
Last edited by untamed; 05-08-2012 at 01:40 AM.
With the electronic formats available, accessing stuff on say Encyclopaedia Britannica is pretty good. I have a set of EB from the early 1980's to fulfill a desire I always had then. As the years passed, I realized that in reality, I seldom even looked at them other than seeing them taking up a lot of space on the book shelf and telling myself ... wow, I have an old set of EB's. That was money poured down a hole. Political boundaries have changed a lot since 1980 and there are so many new countries.
My concern with electronic storage is accessing the information years from now as technology changes, so does the way we access information. Hence the wonderful store of information accessible with your computer today may not be accessible potentially only a few years down the road. Technology breeds interdependance. But I have no solution for this.
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