Many people are fascinated with movies and novels about Armageddon – the end of the world caused by nuclear war, an invasion from outer space, or in the case of P.D. James’s novel The Children of Men, the extinction of human beings as a result of climate change and pollution.
My idea for an Apocalypse novel is a horror story. Following a cyber attack, the internet crashes and its contents are lost. I am told this is not possible but anyone who has lost files or had their files held for ransom (like I have) can appreciate the resulting chaos.
I’ll keep you posted if I finish my novel but the loss of our digital libraries is not just pulp fiction.
A few years ago Google’s vice-president Vint Cerf warned all digitally stored information could be wiped out by tech upgrades, putting the sum total of human knowledge under threat.
Piles of digitized material – from blogs, tweets, pictures and videos, to official documents such as court rulings and emails – could be lost forever because the programs needed to view them will become defunct, Google’s vice-president said.
Vint Cerf warned we face a forgotten generation.
“When you think about the quantity of documentation from our daily lives that is captured in digital form, like our interactions by email, people’s tweets, and all of the world wide web, it’s clear that we stand to lose an awful lot of our history,” he said.
How much of your own history have you lost on Super 8 film, audio cassettes, VHS tapes and floppy disks? What if you lost your USB port?
Words to the wise: If you want something to survive, print it out.