Data in our time

We’re entering the information age. Information, data and what comes of it is rising in importance. The following comment at slashdot, to an article about backing up “the cloud”, is most likely the result of the process of moving into a new, information-driven age of our society.

Insurance means nothing. Once your data is lost, it is lost. Whether or not you get money out of them in compensation for the lost data is almost non-important. I would say that anything you lost would be completely non-producable, even if you had all the money in the world. A picture of your family on vacation, can’t be reproduced. You can go on another vacation, but it won’t be the same vacation. Any document you have typed out, could be typed out again, but it would be different each time. Unless you are talking about lost music files, in which case, you could download them again, but that’s kind of the same as having a backup. Any data that’s really important isn’t going to reproducible.


This is what the general public will associate with the information age. Their own data. What’s personal to them. The general World Consciousness(tm) will have its own important data, namely that of our combined (usable?) knowledge. The sum of all our personal thoughts, ideas etc. Anything

I have to disagree with the comment’s author, and don’t think I chose it because it’s in any meaning important or unique, and say that really important data may be reproduced as well. It’s the nature of information, knowledge and similar to be discovered. Anything important will be possible to reproduce, maybe not reconstruct (like a backup) but reproduce, because everything comes from something else.

Of course to agree on this means your view of finished productions must be similar to mine. I.e. an actor or the image quality of a movie isn’t part of what’s unique and special. The methods behind creating it, the story – maybe certain graphical elements – as well as the resulting interpretations of having seen the movie are separately important from the actual atomic level layout of the film rolls.

But then one might ask oneself, in a typical philosophical smart-ass fashion, if the quoted post is important because it has generated new information and new thoughts. Or whether my post here is totally unimportant because it originates from debatably unimportant data.

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