Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Digital Fahrenheit 451

As social media and the blogosphere gain writers and readers daily, I can't help but wonder, what happens when the internet is either cast aside for newer technology or simply castigated.  As a writer, I use the internet daily.  I truly enjoy being an internet journalist and blogger, but there is something that I simply cannot wrap my mind around.  When I hit send or enter or publish, what I've written is "out there," never to be retrieved, and with that foreboding feeling of "forever" is also the reality that the written word is now, fleeting as well.

I have an ongoing argument with myself.  I keep telling myself I should print Contemplation of Preponderance, just to have the record in the event of whatever; but I then tell myself, it's serving it's purpose as is. My thoughts and words are not necessarily of world importance, but many of my blog topics do address world events and digital history is vulnerable to revision.  I'm not an historian by any means, but I do think a great deal about the revision that has already transpired.  Now that encyclopedias and periodicals are becoming digital, and libraries are losing funding, will the veracity of history remain intact?  In less than 70 years of written history, the holocaust has been questioned, even denied.  

I received quite a response on the internet over a year ago, for raising the question or the possibility that while so many trust "snopes," the day could come that snopes could be hacked.  I'm already amazed at the people who swear by Google, until I search their issue on Google, then I need more information . . .   It seems digital information is more prone to perspective and interpretation as to it's validity.

The internet is a very useful tool at this time, but it may not be the best data base for recorded history.  I couldn't work from home without it, but digital information is easily cut and pasted or photoshopped, and just because something goes viral doesn't make it truth.  When I first got a word processor, I described it as a typewriter and file cabinet in one.  Later, when coming to the internet, I added to my typewriter and file cabinet, a communication device, but the reality is, once I added the communication capability, the file cabinet portion was changed.  I was no longer the only one with access, and just because it's "my blog" or "my domain" things can happen.  There need be no nefarious intent at all, technology is no more fool proof than humans.  

When first organizing the Goshen Gazette, I wanted all contributors to have their own blog address, so their work remained their property.  It was only a matter of a couple of weeks before we were frantically messaging behind the scenes that certain blog sites wouldn't open.  There's nothing more frustrating than a power surge or outage when a document hasn't yet been "saved."

I realized how very important a record of the truth is, when my parents began discussing their "Plans of Departure from this World" as in, what did I want from their house?  Well, they are still in good health, or so they tell me, and I'm quite sure I won't have a clue about their financial decisions until they have departed this sod, but when asked the question, I told them, "I wanted the encyclopedias, and I qualified it with.  Now, if kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc. want them, I won't argue, I simply want a record of history maintained in print."  I love my Bible program on the computer.  That program is so handy for my work on line, but my devotion time is with my Bible in print.  

With digital news and e-books, the printed word is the most permanent thing we have in this temporal world. 

 The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which was written was upright, even words of truth.  Ecclesiastes of Holy Scripture  

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