When I first started this blog, over two years ago, while I was still thrashing about, figuring out what it was I wanted to talk about (turns out, it's whatever I want... but I didn't know that then), I wrote a bit about my fear that computers were going to take over, terminator/matrix style.
Now, I was pretty tongue in cheek about most everything I wrote, but in case folks didn't know already, Blogger went down for 18 hours or so, and as of this writing, several comments that were made on my last post remain missing. This event of course started me thinking about my fears again.
In the past few years, an increasing number of things that I used to have firmly planted in my possession are now housed in some server out there in cyberland. My books are increasingly read on an e-reader, I haven't bought music in a physical format in years, I've slowed my dvd/blue ray purchases as I've got more and more enamored with streaming services like Netflix. Those physical photos I used to treasure so much are now in places like facebook.
My fear? That one day I'll wake up and it's all gone. Poof. Photos, music, movies, books, hell, even money... all gone, like they never existed. I don't mean my accounts are wiped out, although that thought worries me too. But I mean all of it.
Things like bit rot are a real problem. Data storage isn't permanent, software isn't perfect. In a thousand years, archaeologists won't dig up our discarded hard drives and find all our family photos and emails perfectly stored and waiting for someone to boot it up. That stuff will gone like in never existed. Entropy always wins in the end.
So, the ease of living in the cloud is nice, and I'll forget about my panic the longer that things continue without a further issues. But it's something that will happen at some point. Count on it.