Ming the Mechanic:
The Internet as an archaeological resource

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 The Internet as an archaeological resource2001-11-17 17:57
pictureby Flemming Funch

Since I'm going back home to Denmark for christmas with my family, after not having been there for many years, I got the idea of looking on the Internet for people I used to know in Denmark, just to see what came up and what has become of people. Like, my childhood friends, people I went to school with, etc. And it is sort of a weird experience. Some people are easily found and turn out to be doctors or engineers or business consultants or musicians. Some of them I can find, but only in a more obscure context. Like, one was looking for parts for restoring an antique car at some point, another posted a comment about a movie, and another posted a recipe for sausage stew.

First of all, I can only find people with unusual names. Anybody with a common name will just disappear in the volume of matches. And Igot to think of how the Internet kind of is a legacy of what one leaves behind. In that it is the most easily accessible resource, it seems like it is of some importance. Of course that is not where we live our lives, but what if it were the main resource for somebody researching the past? What if I lived my whole life, and the only thing left behind was my recipe for sausage stew? That might not be all that different from how the past otherwise is reconstructed from archaeological finds and scattered written records. It doesn't really tell us all that much about what really happened, but we construct our picture based on what is available.

And maybe I'm just an Internet freak who expect to find everything in a search engine, but I noticed that I felt a sense of loss about not finding a lot of things. I looked up the schools I want to, the places I used to live, etc. And I did learn some new things about their history, which I didn't know before, but a lot of history is not to be found.

I think that, in principle, all non-fiction books ever written should be electronically available and searchable. In part because they're a record of what we know and what we experience and what we've done. Books have indeed been written about the places I grew up, the schools I went to, the experiences of members of my family, etc. But unless I put a considerable amount of energy into rounding them up, they'll be scattered around in attics and eventually forgotten.

Maybe I'm just feeling nostalgic. But I think the Internet could and should have a role in helping preserve our history better.

[< Back] [Ming the Mechanic]



17 Nov 2001 @ 19:48 by bushman : Re: The Stew
Hmmm, I can see them making all non-fiction books free on the net. When they can store a page on a form of media like a crystal that cant be moved or erased. then we could truly have lasting records , say didnt they already do that back in ancient times? So I supose if they dug up an info crystal, theyed just think it was a rock ,lol.  

22 Nov 2001 @ 00:18 by peazritr : i'm with you on this
"all non-fiction books ever written should be electronically available and searchable"  

23 Nov 2001 @ 01:39 by peazritr : forgot to say
safe & pleasant journeys, my friend.  

11 May 2005 @ 22:14 by bellasnoop @ : fuck
this is shit  

28 Apr 2016 @ 22:23 by Vlora @ : IQWQMXVqKhxwymJ
ascwrwb walalaha sharafta lehow ciid mubaarik kulu cam wanatum bikhayr wadna ku maasiahntihidn sida aad ciida nogu so dhaweseen macmacnki lagu ciidi lahaa xalwada iyo buskudka waba i hagageen lakin bal balowgan ayaan isku dayaya cawa insha aalh ilahay ha ii hagajiye dadban casumay ciida in balbalowga iga halaba ka baqa intan is xarifina hmmmmm ilahow ceebta astur any way aad iyo ad bad u mahadsantihin cabdallah and layla ilahay haydin xifdiyo adinka iyo ehelkinaba insha aalh ascwrwb  

29 Apr 2016 @ 04:58 by Latoya @ : VKxLoPXFguaLgzseMMkW
Olassss,tengo un problemitaya deskargue desde el link k pusiste pero no se instala,pongo instalar y al final sale la aplicacion no esta instalada, ya comprobre que esta activado origenes den,ssocidoocmi android es de 2.2 muchas gracias x tu atencion  

Other stories in
2011-11-08 03:20: Do what you do
2007-11-09 00:55: The ends justify the means
2007-09-19 00:36: Fractal brains
2007-06-06 00:13: Ten incredible things we get for free
2007-03-26 21:12: Ken Wilber stops his brain waves
2007-03-21 14:45: Free Thought the simplicity of life
2007-03-09 23:46: The ends justify the means
2007-01-29 21:44: Free will in a ten-dimensional universe
2007-01-24 20:42: Assuming Somebody Else's Viewpoint
2007-01-16 16:28: Free Will

[< Back] [Ming the Mechanic] [PermaLink]? 

Link to this article as: http://ming.tv/flemming2.php/__show_article/_a000010-000041.htm
Main Page: ming.tv