Who owns our past

This is a very old draft of a thought. Finally after 10 years it is time to publish much smaller version.

As Search engines dominate the digitization an old fear comes back to haunt. What will be the story that a future generation will hear or read. Will they ever get time and exposure to explore different points of view? Will set of points of view dominate the narration?

I have always wondered how historians tell the story in detail by looking at artefacts and what is left over physically. Sometimes they also reference  written stuff and interpret it to mean something. I have also wondered whether the person who wrote something did not wilfully change the narrative(bible to every other written word)? What about people who did not document anything? How many documents also record honestly everything that happened without bias of any kind.What about people where a new religion or new people erased everything from past. In digital world – search makes it frighteningly easy to obliterate your identity, information about community (news/views/existence).  Since the veracity of information is always suspect we need to better alternative or at least ensure national archives are physical and open up their versions of narrative.

Over last century newspapers have played an important role in dissemination of information and helping people formulate opinions. They do tend to focus on immediate, tactical. Long term investigations and viewpoints come out in magazines or obscure books or worse academic journals. Nobody has time to read through everything. Will future generation have enough information or they will get curated data?

It is in our interest for pushing search engines , social networks, aggregators, applications to share their ranking for relevance, not showing links, withdrawn due to dispute, withdrawn due to laws (government x).

Who owns our past

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s