Storing data on your computer doesn't make it immortal, as you might have assumed. Sadly, "I may die, but my extensive porn collection will live on forever" is naught but a beautiful dream. It happens very slowly, but over the years, those files will start to decay. It only takes a tiny piece of data on your hard drive becoming corrupt. Sure, nothing is affected on your system right now, but the problem gets worse every time you copy those files to a new drive or format. Eventually, they'll become entirely useless, and history will never know exactly what you masturbated to, and how often.
Kim Traynor/Wiki Commons
Some eras didn't have this blessing.
You can test this yourself. Only the most diligent of nerds, or cheap of grandparents, are reading this on a computer with a floppy drive. Do us a favor and take a trip up to the attic to retrieve that box of old floppy discs. The files on those discs are already corrupted. Some things might still be usable, but some are definitely not. That data is decaying like a forgotten banana, and one day soon will be gone entirely.
No, you can't back them up right now. Hard drives don't distinguish between functional and corrupt data. They'll copy the corruption over, and then start rotting in their own way. If you're trusting in the experts and authorities to preserve the important stuff for you ... don't. Government agencies and official record keepers are at the most risk for bit rot, because the sheer size and cost of their archival systems means they don't update often.
Library of Congress
This modern computer data storage space is three years old, which means it's no longer modern.
Forget about court rulings and the Cracked backlog -- future generations may never be able to watch the original Voltron. Do you want your grandkids to live in that world? We think the living would envy the dead.
In preparation for the coming digital end, K.M. Richards no longer has Facebook or Twitter, and prefers to be reached by telegram. Dibyajyoti Lahiri still hopes that web archaeologists of the future will dig up his social media updates one day and conclude that he was among the finest minds of his generation. Follow him on Twitter here.
For things to look forward to before the tech apocalypse happens, check out 15 Real Sci-Fi Technologies About To Change The World and 4 Ways Plasma Technology Will Change The World.
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