Our view: A task force for pack rats


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I recently received this press release: "Members Named to Blue Ribbon Task Force on a Sustainable Digital Future." The 17-member task force's two-year mission is to make recommendations to "determine which digital data should be saved."

Should, for example, the movie Superbad, about high school boys plotting to score with girls, be preserved? What about the drawings that replicated Venice's Grand Canal as a Las Vegas mini shopping mall?

Two Brits are in the American-dominated task force to send a strong signal that this effort is international in scope.

The task force has a stressful job ahead, operating under a tight $600,000 budget that must cover travel, press releases and the construction of a fancy Flash-driven Web site. Once the group completes its work and writes a report, the next step is a snap: Scientists will have to develop the technology to store and retrieve those precious bits that pass muster for our great-great-great-grandkids.

--Rich Friedman

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This was first published in March 2008

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