Ephemeral Concerns

I've posted in the past about the paranoia of trying to preserve every bit of information. Today, Jill Hurst-Wahl's post concerning Impermanence reminded me of the email conversations my father and I have had, several times, on whether or not there is some information that should simply be accepted as ephemeral.

I don't think it really hit me until I took Preservation (analog, that is) that if we say every little bit of information is important enough to be preserved, we're going to go insane awfully quick from trying to gather up every single post-it ever composed.

But where do you draw the line? And how can we make good decisions now about what will be good information in the future? Things like personal diaries--the blogs of the past, if you will--may seem inconsequential, but historical diaries shed amazing light on daily life, the running of a household, and even the way people thought in the past. I was amazed to discover, at some point in my art history education, that Renaissance-era receipts for household purchases provided valuable data for historical research.

So, while (to me) it seems an immediately ridiculous and/or fruitless endeavor to attempt to catalog and/or archive the internet, and nearly as much so to simply archive all the blogs of a certain period in time... Who knows?

Maybe I'd better hang on to my grocery list after all. You never know what insights future generations might gain from learning that I purchased Dreyer's SlowChurned Raspberry Chip Royale.

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