A lot of people who have theorized about and proven conspiracies remember the destruction of the accumulated wisdom of the ages when the Library of Alexandria burned. Long has it been rumored that the Vatican holds the wisdom in secret tunnels that stretch for miles (here’s a CBS article on that topic: A rare look at the Vatican Library’s treasures ).
As we hope and prepare for humanity to be released from the centuries old oppression that has bound us, I wonder: how might we celebrate?
Will we watch marathons of JFK films? Will we have karaoke parties to sing along with old musicals? Will we study great athletes of the past, or become opera fans? And how would we be likely to access these great moments of recorded human history and accomplishment? The Cloud? Really?
We may even soon experience disclosure of universal realities such as alien life and extremely advanced technology. But it wouldn’t take much for us to lose all of that precious knowledge if we store it in a cloud that suddenly and mysteriously fails, would it?
Centralization of any sort makes us vulnerable to the control of oligarchs. Centralization of our accumulated cultural achievements makes us vulnerable to a permanent loss of the record of those achievements. Inconvenient ideas can slide right out of the cloud down into that memory hole that is the Vatican tunnels.
So now, in the Christmas shopping season, I have a suggestion: how about helping to preserve humanity’s record of accomplishment by giving some hard copies? Give people books, give people CDs or vinyl, give people DVDs. If you want to do something unusual and / or don’t have much money to spend, download some YouTube videos or books out of copyright from Project Gutenberg on a topic you know is of special interest to someone, and put them on a thumb drive as a gift.
May I repeat: give hard copies as gifts.
Think of it as preserving the brain trust of humanity.