After writing about digital archives and the importance of sharing things in order to better keep (preserve) them, I suddenly remembered all the backup CDs I have in this place.
Yes, compact discs. From the days of Windows 98 and modems, and the Y2K bug. In order to avoid the imminent collapse (and/or the threat of having to download things again - an expensive proposition when paid by the minute), I backed things up. On compactly stacked discs. And promptly forgot all about them.
Until I remembered them. Which I did every once in a while, in a fit of nostalgia. Most recently, last night.
As with so many other things, I made it into a social event. The world needed to know what I thought during the "insert disc 5 of 17" process, and thus tweets happened about it. En masse.
While I went on doing my thing, two other things happened. The one was the nth happening of the Superb Owl, in all its incomprehensible oversizedness.
I ignored that.
The other thing was the desperate cries for help from the people of Syria, where the military unleashed every weapon of war they had. Literally.
That was harder to ignore.
How can one do archiving while reports of people dying are screaming at you, in real time? All the time?
How can one do anything at all, for that matter?
That is the dark side of the statement "the whole world is watching". You are a part of it. And there's a lot going on in it, impossible to ignore and more so to unfeel. Specially when it happens at you.
There are voices who won't voice anything after tonight. Friends lost.
At the same time, life. Things still needs to be done, schedules followed. While the world contains more sorrow than anyone can fathom, it is somehow also too small to contain time for grief.
So I keep going. Disc 6 of 17. Tweeting. Doing all those things that needs to be done, and that won't be done unless I do them.
That is the one thing one can do. Keep going.
Originally published February 6, 2012