Tuesday, February 17, 2015

2015-02-17: Reactions To Vint Cerf's "Digital Vellum"

Don't you just love reading BuzzFeed-like articles, constructed solely of content embedded from external sources?  Yeah, me neither.  But I'm going to pull one together anyway.

Vint Cerf generated a lot of buzz last week when at an AAAS meeting he gave talk titled "Digital Vellum".  The AAAS version, to the best of my knowledge, is not online but this version of "Digital Vellum" at CMU-SV from earlier the same week is probably the same.

The media (e.g., The Guardian, The Atlantic, BBC) picked up on it, because when Vint Cerf speaks people rightly pay attention.  However, the reaction from archiving practitioners and researchers was akin to having your favorite uncle forget your birthday, mostly because Cerf's talk seemed to ignore the last 20 or so years of work in preservation.  For a thoughtful discussion of Cerf's talk, I recommend David Rosenthal's blog post.  But let's get to the BuzzFeed part...

In the wake of the media coverage, I found myself retweeting many of my favorite wry responses starting with Ian Milligan's observation:

Andy Jackson went a lot further, using his web archive (!) to find out how long we've been talking about "digital dark ages":

And another one showing how long The Guardian has been talking about it:

And then Andy went on a tear with pointers to projects (mostly defunct) with similar aims as "Digital Vellum":

Andy's dead right, of course.  But perhaps Jason Scott has the best take on the whole thing:

So maybe Vint didn't forget our birthday, but we didn't get a pony either.  Instead we got a dime kitty


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