Saturday, April 30, 2016

Data Nanostorage in Quartz

Recently, I came across this article about a new kind of data storage developed by researchers in the UK. Using nano-structured glass, it stores 360 terabytes of info on a small piece of quartz. This information is theoretically stable for 14 billion years.


Here is the link to the university doing the research:
University of Southampton:

I am very organized, especially with all my digital files. I have archives going back to my college years, at the turn of the millennium. When it comes to saving data & preserving information, I look at it from 2 perspectives:

A basic truth to this universe is that everything changes. All composite forms eventually break down, or are transformed into something else.

In 100,000 years, it's possible that very little trace of current human culture will still exist.
In a million years, it's doubtful that anything we've created would survive.
In a billion years, there will almost certainly be nothing left of human existence at all.

If this is true, then why do we bother doing anything at all?

That is the eternal question, and the only answer is that we do what we are compelled to do. The source of this compulsion is our desire to overcome our fear of impermanence. We do this by trying to make a lasting impression on others and the world.

So... I know everything that I'm doing will eventually cease to exist in its present form. However, I still seek to preserve aspects of myself, my life, & my digital data.

I am here, experiencing this life, so I do what I feel driven to do! Cosmic perspectives are important, but a fully aware person must dwell in the personal realm, as well.

There is a lot of myself and my creative work stored online now. I feel like this is an opportunity to preserve some aspect of my life into the future, more so than people of past eras were able to do.

Of course, a global catastrophe could happen anytime that could knock out the global information network & perhaps even our power grid. This could be avoided by getting data storage off-planet, into outer space. Even if we avoid this fate, it is questionable whether anyone would be around in a million (forget a billion) years to experience anything we are doing now. Even if there were, the next question is- Would they even be able to access the information we have left, in a way that is meaningful to them?

Perhaps this would be a situation like the mysterious "crystal skulls". They could be a 3D quartz data storage system from a lost civilization, but we have no idea how to access it!

Oh well. I guess it's not worth worrying about whether or not anything we do is truly lasting. We just have to make the best of our individual situations, & try to be a positive influence on the consciousness of as many people as possible.

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