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The final question—will we be remembered?

Storage systems and software are inevitably going to be dynamic systems that evolve and advance, not necessarily with total compatibility with earlier versions. Therefore for any records, photographs, and images, or other items that we want to preserve for our families or posterity, we need to ensure that whichever storage medium we are using, we keep updating the information. The reality is that in terms of a desire to be remembered, we need to admit that we will rapidly fade into obscurity. Many people construct family trees running back several hundred years and these may have names and dates, but in fact they say virtually nothing about the people. A few may have been famous (or notorious), but the bulk of the billions who preceded us have totally vanished from our records. Therefore, my conclusion is to forget about vanity; instead, enjoy any present fame and family that we have, and admit that within a generation or so we will be lucky to be remembered by anything more than a name on an ancestry tree or on a gravestone.

At the more pragmatic level of how storage systems have evolved and information has decayed, I will offer an analogy: we walked before we had bicycles, trains, cars, aeroplanes, and public transport. The newer technologies may be faster, but feet are well tested and reliable. So records on paper should not be despised.

Unequivocally, the message is that high-speed production and delivery of stored information is matched by a shorter time that it will be accessible. This is not some new idea, but it applies to all the information systems we can consider. Any teacher will confirm that a rapid delivery of even a simple topic will not be understood if it is presented too fast, but a slow and relaxed delivery will be understood and remembered. This is equally true for romance and sex.

 
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