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Re: Going NOMAIL: Honeymoon

From:Henrik Theiling <theiling@...>
Date:Tuesday, July 1, 2008, 10:54

David J. Peterson writes:
>... > I just got married yesterday, and we're going on our > honeymoon for a week, so I'm going no-mail.
Congratulations! It is a great experience, isn't it? :-)
>... > I think the web and everything else we've got going > is bring us closer to a time where nothing will be lost, > unless something truly catastrophic happens. >...
Well, I fear that the move from mailing lists to fora was a bit dangerous for that reason: information vanishes, because fora often have no archives and even erase older posts (why?) We want good archives, I think, and few fora provide it today, and some are not even indexed in search engines. Of course, Conlang-L suffered some loss, too. But the history of the ZBB is simply gone, is it not? Or eBay! I want an archive of all stuff ever sold there! :-) Another thing I fear is that when there will be even more information, it becomes even more hard to search. I often find myself searching for a topic that cannot easily be 'buzzwordized' for a search engine to find good results. For example when I search for a problem with my computer. Try searching for 'linux hard disk slow' or something like that. Completely futile. It often seems like I am the only person who has that bug, because I either get 1 million irrelevant hits (of course, I did not check all manually) or none at all or exclusively commercial sites wanting to sell be X when I had a problem with X. Lately, it was even hard to find out whether some piece of hardware was supported by linux drivers. That should be really trivial to find, but it was not at all trivial: in compatibility lists, about 99% of all hardware is missing, even very common hardware. The current situation is just awful. So we need much better search engines, otherwise the information will be lost in the infinity of informaton, which is as bad as being totally gone. I have no idea how to improve search engines, actually, because they'd need AI to really understand what I want. AI has not been fully functional so far, so maybe only humans can index information properly for humans to find, which means that a lot of information will be lost anyway, because there are no resources for indexing it. **Henrik