Immortal computing

According to the Seattlepi, Microsoft aims at patenting a "project that would let information be stored indefinitely and accessed by future generations, or perhaps civilizations". As MS named it, it's a sort-of long-term "immortal computing".

One scenario the researchers envision: People could store messages to descendants, information about their lives or interactive holograms of themselves for access by visitors at their tombstones or urns.

And here's where the notion of immortality really kicks in: The researchers say the artifacts could be symbolic representations of people, reflecting elements of their personalities. The systems might be set up to take action -- e-mailing birthday greetings to people identified as grandchildren, for example. (...) "Maybe we should start thinking as a civilization about creating our Rosetta stones now, along with lots of information, even going beyond personal memories into civilization memories," (...) the instructions would be "self-revealing," the researchers say. The concept is similar to the symbolic instructions with the Golden Record on board the Voyager spacecraft launched in the 1970s -- they gave details on how to build a player for the record, which contained greetings in various languages.

Why do I blog this? two things: one one hand, the duration of information is an interesting issue to address. On the other hand, it seems that when people want to tackle durability, they use concrete artifacts such the Voyager board or Edgar Morin's proposal to engrave information. The tangibility of information seems to be an important characteristic for durability.