GeekNights Monday - Archiving the Internet

Tonight on GeekNights, we consider the immense challenge of archiving the Internet. This is a critical era of human history, and historians centuries from now will be desperate to know things we all think are "common knowledge" today. In the news, the Internet Archive flew too close to the sun, the emerging geopolitical blocs will likely end TikTok in America, and Nvidia (correctly) says cryptocurrencies do not "bring anything useful for society"

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I like this episode, it’s not like I have been trying to study this exact topic for the past 2 years now ;).

In all seriousness, you basically danced around about a dozen or so multi-hour discussions that are still being debated. The sad part about my experience thus far is that NO ONE is willing to make a concrete decision on the HOW to do things. There are general principles that will guide you to do the correct action but it is maddening for me to ask for an example of how things work and the school tells you “lol get an internship to find out.”

If anyone here wants to do the legit things I have studied let me know to be happy to share the lessons learned to improve the overall education about the field. While there are a bunch of experts focusing on paper and tangible items, the digital world is wide open and needs a few champions to guide the decisions that are needed.

In the meantime, if anyone has old computer hardware for me to build a bit curator box that would be awesome if you can send it my way.

Just so you know, there Buckminster Fuller did the full-life archive thing, and it exists in the Stanford libraries.

From the wikipedia page:

The Dymaxion Chronofile is Buckminster Fuller’s attempt to document his life as completely as possible. He created a very large scrapbook in which he documented his life every 15 minutes from 1920 to 1983. The scrapbook contains copies of all correspondence, bills, notes, sketches, and clippings from newspapers. The total collection is estimated to be 270 feet (80 m) worth of paper. This is said to be the most documented human life in history.

Fuller’s Chronofile contains over 140,000 pieces of paper, as well as 64,000 feet of film, 1,500 hours of audio tape, and 300 hours of video recordings. The Chronofile is cross-referenced alphabetically using 13,500 5x8 inch index cards. Photos from Fuller’s childhood from age four were added retrospectively.[1]

At a low point in his life at age 32, when considering suicide, Fuller reviewed his Chronofile to that date and concluded that he had been most effective when his efforts were on the behalf of others and resolved to focus his future work toward “all humanity”.[1]

Here is the US Senate’s version of the “law to ban TikTok.” I can’t make heads or tails of it by reading it directly.

Mark Twain requested his autobiography be published a century after his death:

Preserving personal correspondence, the reigning champ is Ea-Nasir:

Side note for Rym: the shorts are showing up in the RSS feed of the geeknightsrym YouTube channel.

I was thinking of the Mark Twain Autobiography when they were talking about this! Totally forgot to come here and mention it.

The 100 years after their death seems like a lot, but reasonable to let everyone who’d be affected by it to be dead and not offended by what you really think.


I genuinely think he wanted to be that long after for simply shits and giggles. Seems his style.

Imgur is wiping out a lot of old stuff. Save em if you want em.