27 November 2010

Was thinking more about DVDs... a historical evolution of CDROM publication, which itself was due to bandwidth not being free.

Wikileaks can't send artifacts as it doesn't seem to want a fixed postal address (which of course has its own advantages and disadvantages) and the other information-channel (net bandwidth) is cheaper now.

(Though somehow they have a physical receiving address?)

Anderson's Eternity system may exist already, for documents of sufficient interest to keep around, particularly the controversial forbidden or dangerous content. And the mechanism this rides on is the net --now inseparable from civilization-- and file sharing of more recreational ('piracy') or utilitarian ('linux distro') content. That's all it took, no fees, not instantly robust, no central control, not even a declaration that this is going on, but filesharing is Eternity for documents worth keeping by sufficient numbers of people.

And this is helped by the Streisand Effect. If you post a DMCA complaint the document in question is no doubt replicated more.

Interestingly, pondering again, some documents become more valuable as historical artifacts after a period of being yesterday's news. The Ellsberg documents for instance, the Progressive HBomb issue.

email (the original killer app, a precursor to the web IMHO) then later Metallica lead to Eternity.
Hilarious. Going further back, a spreadsheet was a critical link (for business to push standalone computers), a calculator (for starting the microprocessor). And even the census ---to tally your subjects you need computers. The first --leading to the Hollerith card-- were used at the beginning of the last century by the USG.

It'll only get better; encrypted transport, perhaps content flowing that is not requested by the Pirate, but part of an indifferent Eternity, turned on by default, just a little donation to the Library, perhaps carrying redundant copies of stuff you care about, perhaps stuff others care about. Darknet is inevitable too. Rather, Darknets are inevitable.

All those cycles. All that bandwidth. Its one giant supercomputer, literally, with nodes powering up and down all the time, with a loosely coupled --but most distributed library in the history of mankind--
file system, bit torrent.

Its one thing to help fold a protein, look for SETI, whatever. But the bit torrent file system --seen as a distributed computation system-- goes beyond this. And seen as part of the Library, its a noble donation.
(And FWIW its compatible with running cycle-limited low-bandwidth background tasks like SETI@home..)

And what the heck, one can schedule it to use no bandwidth when you might be awake. Transparent symbiont.