Is the Internet Deleting Humanity's Historical Record?
Mistakes made 30 years ago have made much of the early digital age inaccessible to historians. Today, regulators are struggling to find ways to maintain a faithful historical record.
What's the Latest Development?
Many websites and blogs that catalog our contemporary (electronic) era could be lost by the time historians wish to investigate their content as clues to what our time was like. Stored data decay over time. NASA, for example has lost data from its earlier moon missions because the machines used to read the data were scrapped. "In 2010 the United States Copyright Office exempted publishers of online-only works from the duty of depositing a copy with the Library of Congress unless specifically requested." And according to copyright law, circumventing anti-piracy software to copy and archive digital files is illegal.
What's the Big Idea?
Even if publishers were to print every electronic document they published, the data which lie behind those documents and give them meaning could be lost as software changes and loses the ability to open old files. Regulators have begun considering the problem. In May, the nation's Copyright Office will hold public hearings to discuss exemptions to the ban on circumventing anti-piracy software. "Without a wider mandate for libraries, giving them the right to store both digital materials and the tools to open it, historians of the future will be unable to reconstruct our times."
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Under capitalism, the argument goes, it's every man for himself. Through the relentless pursuit of self-interest, everyone benefits, as if an invisible hand were guiding each of us toward the common good. Everyone should accordingly try to get as much as they can, not only for their goods but also for their labour. Whatever the market price is is, in turn, what the buyer should pay. Just like the idea that there should be a minimum wage, the idea that there should be a maximum wage seems to undermine the very freedom that the free market is supposed to guarantee.
Humans evolved to live in the cold through a number of environmental and genetic factors.
- According to some relatively new research, many of our early human cousins preceded Homo sapien migrations north by hundreds of thousands or even millions of years.
- Cross-breeding with other ancient hominids gave some subsets of human population the genes to contend and thrive in colder and harsher climates.
- Behavioral and dietary changes also helped humans adapt to cold climates.
It's unlikely that there's anything on the planet that is worth the cost of shipping it back
- In the second season of National Geographic Channel's MARS (premiering tonight, 11/12/18,) privatized miners on the red planet clash with a colony of international scientists
- Privatized mining on both Mars and the Moon is likely to occur in the next century
- The cost of returning mined materials from Space to the Earth will probably be too high to create a self-sustaining industry, but the resources may have other uses at their origin points
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