Orbit UK author Charles Stross has contributed a piece to the BBC website, published today. It’s a fascinating look at the effect that increased data storage will have on history and memory:
We’ve had agriculture for about 12,000 years, towns for eight to 10,000 years, and writing for about 5,000 years. But we’re still living in the dark ages leading up to the dawn of history.
Don’t we have history already, you ask? Well actually, we don’t. We know much less about our ancestors than our descendants will know about us.
Indeed, we’ve acquired bad behavioural habits — because we’re used to forgetting things over time. In fact, collectively we’re on the edge of losing the ability to forget.