Given that we have computers at our disposal and most information has a digital equivalent, this ear of humanity will definitely leave much more information for their coming generations.
While the idea of creating time lockers – to leave artifacts for coming generations – is not new, the problem that later generations might face is that or reading back all the information that has been left for them.
This is because many documents – text, images, video – will be stored in formats that may not be open. For example, if we leave documents in Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word, what is the chance that these documents will be read after many centuries – given th fact that event today, applications are not able to read five year old documents without errors.
While leaving information for posterity, it will be equally important to leave information about the file formats as well – be they open standards or closed standards.
And here comes the catch – if we leave the documentation itself in digital format, will it be readable? So a unique problem – a key will be needed to read the key. As an alternative, if we leave the formats in paper form, they will occupy huge size as Microsoft’s Open XML format if printed, spans thousands of pages. And that is just one format.