Condemned to Reload It: Forgetting New Media

We live in the dark ages of digital media. We fantasize about the infinite possibilities and revolutionary potential of the Web, about how free information wants to be, about uploading our brain to a hard drive but we actually know less about the creative computing that happened in our lifetimes than some people know about incunabular broadsides and Babylonian school tablets. Forget about Ivan Sutherland’s Sketchpad we can’t even run MacPaint. Forget about Vannevar Bush’s trails we can’t even run The Oregon Trail. It’s as if we have some sort of cultural, corporate, and academic attention deficit disorder and mommy has sold our supply of Ritalin to Rush Limbaugh. —Nick MontfortCondemned to Reload It: Forgetting New Media (

I love this guy!

I recently had a brief conversation with our university archivists.

At the moment, their strategy for archiving electronic information is — you guessed it — printing it all out and preserving the pages. They’re paying a small fortune in printing, since the university is generating so much in terms of e-mail and other electronic data.

I asked whether they had plans to preserve the university website as it develops, or all the material curricular currently archived in the proprietary course-management software (J-Web). And with that question, I probably marked myself for future committee work.