Forever in the Archives

My grandmother sent me an copy of a newspaper that ran a picture of me when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I was going to scan and share it with you, but it’s late and I wondered if The Translyvania Times (really!) had things from that long ago in digital format available online. I went to their site and did a quick scan of the navigation looking for an “Archives” link. For some reason–probably exhaustion–I clicked on “Obituaries.”

That got me thinking about life, the universe, and everything. I don’t believe in an afterlife, but once we’re gone, life does continue for everyone else. The Internet has given us a great opportunity to have our thoughts, ideas, triumphs, failures, histories, and pictures live on forever. It’s like we all have or own Presidential library.

When my great-great-great-grandchildren have Obama’s Cairo speech beamed to their holoviewers they might wonder what their ancestors thought about it at the time.  I imagine whatever takes the place of will have integrated all the digital information available from sites like Twitter, Flickr, Worpress, Blogger, Facebook,, Linked In, and whatever else we use to tell the rest of the world who we are. They already do it with old newspapers, passport applications, and ship’s manifests. Those documents might give you a face or a small detail about your ancestors, but generations from now they’ll be able to get a full picture of what life was like back in the days before holoviewers.

To those descendants of mine who might read this in the future: I know it seems like we were so technologically primitive back in 2009. Holoviewers, flying cars, and controller-free video games are old news by now. You probably learned everything I know now by the time you were in first grade. We did the best we could with the tools we had. We were excited to be able to share our thoughts, pictures, and music  with our friends, family, and even people we didn’t know. The Internet has been the biggest revolution in my lifetime (at least so far) and it’s getting cooler everyday.

Just as I pressed “Publish,” I realized that this sentiment is reminiscent of the “Battlestar Galatica” prequel, “Caprica.” I’m not trying to rip them off. I guess I just got it.


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