Cath and i were having a heated discussion this morning: one of our friends reported that out of 5,700 episodes of PlaySchool (a favourite childhood TV programme) only 1,900 are known to survive. Her comment was that nobody would ever watch them again and it was a waste of space.
My response was that they would, one day, form an invaluable archive giving us insight into things as diverse as gender equality in the 1960’s, developments in technology and even the evolution of the spoken language. Much of this won’t be apparent in our lifetime, but it prompted me into a broader thought.
The default position of history has always been transience: books, scrolls, buildings, bodies, all decay. But today, in the digital realm, the default position of history is permanence.
The default writer of
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