Friday, December 9, 2011

Historical Preservation

I'm really excited this morning--I've found out that everything I have ever posted on Twitter will now be stored in the Library of Congress archives. Whoever thought that my 120-character opinions on Badger football games, the length of Oshkosh School Board meetings, and how much I hate ham will now be available for historians and scholars to pour over for the rest of time.

In fact, anything anyone has ever posted on Twitter will be stored in the archives. Wonder what Snooki thought about the shoes she was wearing on June 13th, 2010? The Library of Congress will now know. Need to know what Kim Kardashian bought on her trip to the mall last Thursday? Archivists in Washington can help you find the answer.

Let's get serious now. The archiving of all Twitter posts is--WITHOUT A DOUBT--the greatest waste of effort and resources since the Kyoto Treaty. Per its website this is the mission of the Library: "The Library's mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people." Being a regular contributor and consumer of Twitter I can tell you two things: 1--there is am amazing dearth of knowledge exhibited in the vast majority of tweets--and 2--unless you consider teenagers using alternative spellings of profanities to be "creativity", there isn't a lot of that out there either.

Is this really where we are now in terms of historical perspective? We've gone from the Founding Fathers' writings to each other on the meanings of liberty and the process they used to develop our amazing Constitution and Bill of Rights--or Lincoln's diaries detailing his struggles to preserve the Union--to "dang @kelcijoho, u luking fyn grrll!!!!!!" as knowledge that needs to be preserved for future generations.

Oh well, the future author of How Did America Get So Fat, Stupid and Lazy? should have plenty of research material.

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