Our human interface with reality

newscientist article-imagine-storing-all-the-worlds-archives-in-a-box-of-seeds

Archiving of data addresses two different scenarios: In the first, intelligent humans are available and encouraged to transcribe archive files into a currently readable digital format and onto a currently accessible physical format, and to do this as frequently as necessary to avoid problems of obsolescence.
In the second scenario, “intelligent” humans have become absent for a duration such that the first method cannot be relied upon. For example if we were to bomb ourselves back to the stone age, or become extinct due to climate change, then that regular process would be considerably interrupted and inconvenienced, and all records of our contemporary history lost.
Assuming we do not perfectly sterilise our planet, the ideal solution for an enduring archive might be to encode our data into the DNA of something more robust, something with a long history of endurance such as a bacteria or cockroaches. Writing DNA might be a slow process at present, but afterwards life itself will take care of the need for regularly refreshed copies. Who knows, perhaps our junk DNA already carries the archived data of some ancient intelligent species!

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