I have a picture here on my desk, drawn when I was 17.
I seemed to have spent my life up to the age of 40 accumulating stuff that I’m now going to spend the rest of my time sorting through and throwing away. One of the many things unearthed by the sorting process is a picture of a spaceship I seem to remember drawing when I should have been doing A level maths homework. It’s not a bad picture, in my opinion. I’m no artist, but when I found this picture I must admit I was quite impressed by my younger self – I’ve not thrown it away yet because I can’t decide if I want to hang onto it. The question I keep asking myself is how often do I really think I’ll look at it in the future? It’s not worth framing, so if I do stick it in a file, am I really going to take it out and look at it, or am I just delaying the inevitable and postponing throwing it away by a few years?
I could scan the picture, of course. If I do, the picture might live for ever. I back up all my files both locally and to the cloud, and because I backup to the cloud there may well be backups of my backups on servers around the world. There is a possibility that my backed up data will be around indefinitely.
If I don’t scan my picture, the paper will go brown, the picture will fade and eventually it will be lost or thrown away.
If I scan my picture, I’m giving it a chance to last forever, or at least for as long as there is someone maintaining the computers. I could do the same with everything I’ve written or drawn. No doubt in a few years everything we do will be recorded indefinitely. A few years ago we had no such opportunity. We may be the last people who understand this choice…
It’s a nice picture. Maybe I will frame it.