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Author Topic: The loss of history?  (Read 21193 times)
papa v2.0
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« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2008, 08:30:17 PM »
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if you want to archive for a long time carve the bit stream into a rock!

photography is to young to be considered as a long time archival system.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2008, 09:32:36 PM »
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Don't be silly - this is much bigger than photo.  This is about all digital data, be it programs to run things, secure documents, or even a set of data to precisely define and enable reconstruction of physical objects and devices.  This is everything, eventually.
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Ray
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« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2008, 10:08:29 PM »
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I would have thought the main problem is providing the human resources to do the archiving. Moor'e Law is alive and doing well in the memory storage department.

The latest developments in memory storage, known as 'recetrack' memory are mind boggling. It is estimated that the new technology will be available in 5 to 10 years time and will hold 100x the data in the same space as current magnetic drives.

Lets do a bit of simple maths to get a glimpse of the possibilities here. Currently you can get a 320GB mobile (pocket) drive at a cost of roughly $1 per gigabyte or less. They run on power from the computer's USB socket and are so compact they literally fit into a shirt pocket (provided you don't bend down to tie your shoe laces).

100x320GB is 32 terrabytes (or is that terabytes?). In 10 years time, you'll be able to easily stick 32 terabytes in your pocket. The new technology is sold state too, so it should have reasonable archival qualities.

How much storage would be required for a million RAW files? I don't expect I will have taken more than a million images before I die. Currently, the average RAW file size is around 10MB (for me). However, considering the drive towards increased pixel count, let's say that average becomes 20MB over the course of time. A million megabytes is one terrabyte, so to store my 1 million images at the end of my life, I need just 20 terabytes of memory.

But my pocket 'racetrack' drive can store 32 terabytes. It's too big.

I'd better start taking more photos fast. Don't want to waste all that storage space   .
« Last Edit: May 22, 2008, 10:10:48 PM by Ray » Logged
dalethorn
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« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2008, 10:23:32 PM »
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There are factors that drive this storage thing - one being when you grow into a new paradigm such as storing full length HD video (just an example!), and another overcoming the transfer rate limitation, which is as much of a problem as it was 20 years ago.  But managing the files is easy if you get away from the common mindset and use dirmatch logic.
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Ray
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« Reply #24 on: May 22, 2008, 10:36:51 PM »
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There are factors that drive this storage thing - one being when you grow into a new paradigm such as storing full length HD video (just an example!), and another overcoming the transfer rate limitation, which is as much of a problem as it was 20 years ago.  But managing the files is easy if you get away from the common mindset and use dirmatch logic.
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Transfer rate limitation? Moor's Law still applies to increasing speed, doesn't it.

My first DVD burner could write at just 2x. That's around 4GB of data in half an hour. Blu-ray burners, still in their infancy, can write at 4x. That's 25GB in 15 minutes, over 12x the transfer rate. HD video has about 6x the image data as standard definition.
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Rob C
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« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2008, 02:25:42 PM »
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Sergio makes a good point about the not so subtle differences between film and digital capture as regarding storage. Shooting a cassette per garment was never considered a big deal in respect of the film/retained image equation, you just used up film to buy yourself the time to ease the model and get to the peak of the idea you were both working towards. Then, on the lightbox, a fairly quick squint through the loupe and you had your couple of keepers. So far, the same with digital (for me, with a very limited shooting rate nowadays) but the trouble starts after that, when those keepers are into your system.

It is/was simplicity itself and very fast to do as Sergio says, and find your image via the window or the lighbox; itīs not so easy now on a computer. Yes, I still try to know where to look, but nothing beats the quick human eye scan of a work-book! Possibly itīs just my fault and Iīm not that good on computers, but why the hell should anyone have to be? We are supposed to be photographers, for heavenīs sake, not typists! Even posting these silly posts takes up a lot of editing time in Preview and even then I miss spelling errors; nowhere does it say the photographic bit is any more streamlined in digital, just more complicated, far more expensive and not at all user-friendly for at least this writer. The cost-of-film argument is meaningless in a pro context as it was the clientīs problem, not yours, and any job worth doing had that little part well and truly covered.

Perhaps part of the storage problem might be that the very escape from film expense that digital created for the amateur is, as was indicated, simply a matter of too much trash kept inside the house as outside in the can.

History has had Dark Ages before; Iīm sure it will survive this one. Thing is, apart from a few dedicated researchers of the past, who ever bothers to look anything up? Is human curiosity really still alive and all that well? Is Miss Celebrity as far as it goes?

Rob C
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dalethorn
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« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2008, 03:24:56 PM »
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Some thoughts:  Transfer speed to backup is orders of magnitude slower than bus speed.  Typical backup programs and methods are still in the Dark Ages.  And when you're in the middle of work and everything data-wise has been allocated and is working OK, then comes the unexpected and you have to  1) Search your archives for many, not just one files.  2) Create a new backup, or install a new computer.  3) etc. etc.  So don't estimate the capability of a system on ideal throughput.
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Roscolo
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« Reply #27 on: May 24, 2008, 09:11:56 AM »
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A few years ago I remember reading an article about a White House photographer who (at that time) shot B&W film exclusively, no digital, just to address the concerns you have listed. He thought it was important to have archival, unalterable documentation for historical purposes considering his subject matter and he had a great point. Unfortunately I forget his name. Seems the article may have been in PDN.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #28 on: May 24, 2008, 10:09:11 AM »
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I remember one, James Altgens I think the name was, captured some important photos in Dealey Plaza back in Nov. '63.  Having a medium format B&W in those days really made the difference in archival quality.  The same may hold true today in many cases.
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Rob C
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« Reply #29 on: May 24, 2008, 12:58:02 PM »
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I have sworn by Kodachrome as a safe storage film for many a year, but trouble occurs even with that, not because of the film, I think, but because of the inevitable scuffing that happens when you pull a slide out of one of those transparent sleeves that hold 24 frames. I am as careful as anyone could possibly be with that material, but it still manages to get damaged. Naturally, material that has been through a stock library CAN fare even worse, as I know to my cost.

I suppose that it is a non-win situation as it ever was and perhaps ever will be.

Actually, I have just spent a few nights editing a collection of files that I want to make into a smaller, more powerful set. On a lightbox it would have taken a single session; with the computer I simply canīt get a big enough range of images on the screen, all at one time, at a size that makes for real comparison. It really does eat time and is simply not as convenient either.

Rob C
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joneil
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« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2008, 05:19:22 PM »
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I don't know if i did a good or even fair job of getting my point across, however, I was at a conference this weekend, and one session I attended was on forensic photo identification.  Here's a couple links to explain one point of view on the subject:

http://www.forensicgenealogy.info/images/a...r_corrected.pdf

also

http://www.forensicgenealogy.info/the_digital_detective.html

   Some of you may dismiss the topic of genealogy out of hand, however, modern genealogy has very little to do with proving you came from royalty.  The biggest use of genealogy today is medical research.  Does breast cancer run in your family, and are you concerned bout your daughter's chance for that disease.  The use of genealogy and family medical history is just one component of the fight against many diseases.
 
   Just something to chew on, when you ask yourself, who and why is somebody going to look at my photos (film or digital) 50 or 100 years form now.
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dalethorn
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« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2008, 08:06:44 PM »
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The issue of whether anyone looks at your photos in 50 years has many facets. One, assuming you're not famous or otherwise marketable as in Einstein's likeness on a can of paint for sale, if you have your images in a freely available archive on the Web, where anyone can examine them for research purposes, then the next facet to consider is whether there will be search software that can find specific content by examining the actual images, not relying on descriptions or other external tags etc.  For example, I visualize the day when I can search a master film database (actual films digitized) for content such as "two men in bistro - one wearing red shirt", and from the search results, then zero in on the part of the video where such scenes are indicated.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #32 on: June 03, 2008, 06:16:19 AM »
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Mostly very valid concerns...

But then again, considering our amazing ability at acting stupidely even when all the elements required to show that history is once more going to repeat itself are still available, does it really matter?

Besides, isn't our society deeply trapped into a self fulfilling prophecy that both triggers and pre-requisites the death of memory?

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 09:10:43 PM by BernardLanguillier » Logged

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Ray
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« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2008, 07:07:39 AM »
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All history is revisionist, any information that survives will be re-contextualized to support the market requirements at the time of consumption.  What anyone considered the original "truth" will be subsumed to support prevailing agendas. 
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This statement from Russell gets closest to the truth, in my opinion.

The RAW image from a DSLR is very archivable and difficult to alter in its original RAW state, but I guess we're working on it. How to manipultae a RAW image which, afterwards, still maintains its RAW status?
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dalethorn
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« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2008, 01:05:48 PM »
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Russell is correct of course, that all "history" as a practical matter is revisionist.  One of my favorite absurdities is A. Lincoln - the erstwhile beloved of media pundits and neo-historians, who nonetheless killed more Americans than all foreign enemies combined, to date.  But there may be something in technology that will transcend the age-old problems of loss and revision.  Good backup systems have offsite storage requirements, so why not have offsite storage for Earth?  And new search technologies will make it possible to get real usable information from the archived data.  The major remaining task, to educate the people to think for themselves, and to have a level of curiosity to not accept the corporate line, will mostly be accomplished by expansion of current tools like an open Internet.
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Rob C
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« Reply #35 on: June 24, 2008, 03:32:57 PM »
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Russell is correct of course, that all "history" as a practical matter is revisionist.  One of my favorite absurdities is A. Lincoln - the erstwhile beloved of media pundits and neo-historians, who nonetheless killed more Americans than all foreign enemies combined, to date.  But there may be something in technology that will transcend the age-old problems of loss and revision.  Good backup systems have offsite storage requirements, so why not have offsite storage for Earth?  And new search technologies will make it possible to get real usable information from the archived data.  The major remaining task, to educate the people to think for themselves, and to have a level of curiosity to not accept the corporate line, will mostly be accomplished by expansion of current tools like an open Internet.
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Dale

I would like to be able to agree with you about educating people, but take a look at the following example. It is the foremost newspaper in Scotland, well-written and well regarded by most people there who can read.

It has a website and one might have imagined that the people posting on it would have something worth saying. Instead, you get the mouthings of lunatics, the mooings of highland cattle and not a lot more. To savour this, just take any political article listed in the home page, click on its blue title line and then scroll down to where the comments can be posted. And remember, one has to register to be able to post!

[a href=\"http://www.theherald.co.uk]http://www.theherald.co.uk[/url]

If that doesnīt ruin your hope of the web helping reality and/or truth hold their ground, then your optimism for the human race is much stronger than mine.

This is no joke: the newspaper is really worth its price. How, then, such a bunch of idiots on its back?

Rob C
« Last Edit: June 24, 2008, 03:34:30 PM by Rob C » Logged

dalethorn
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« Reply #36 on: June 24, 2008, 06:56:57 PM »
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Dale
I would like to be able to agree with you about educating people, but take a look at the following......

http://www.theherald.co.uk

Rob C
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Well, I've had a good opportunity to see how Big Media builds Reputation Capital, to use a phrase I found on an anarchist cryptographic forum.  We can assume that the Scots as well as others have good protection against robotically generated postings of nonsense, and that the absurdities and fallacies broadcast on the official networks are understood for what they are by those who are paying attention, but don't bet on it.  Think of all that as a war, and the winners will be those who keep their own files clean while dumping disinformation on everyone else.  When you see the poisons people are putting into their bodies (fast food), you just imagine their brains filling up with the equivalent from media.  People like Lewis Black, George Carlin and others have taken to shock performance to break through some of that crap, and even some of the ancient prophets were known for dangerous rantings.  Our best bet I think is to network in reasonably intelligent forums like this one, and don't make the mistake of getting hung up on particulars - i.e. look for the patterns to see who's contributing and who's poisoning the air.  Hint: The bad guys are often charming and popular.
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Rob C
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« Reply #37 on: June 25, 2008, 11:41:43 AM »
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People like Lewis Black, George Carlin and others have taken to shock performance to break through some of that crap, and even some of the ancient prophets were known for dangerous rantings.  Our best bet I think is to network in reasonably intelligent forums like this one, and don't make the mistake of getting hung up on particulars - i.e. look for the patterns to see who's contributing and who's poisoning the air.  Hint: The bad guys are often charming and popular.
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[/quote]

I havenīt knowledge of the two guys you quote, but I do recall that in the UK there were programmes such as That Was The Week That Was with David Frost etc. who did remarkable sketches on political figures of the time such as Harold Wilson, the then Prime Minister. In America there was the Rowan and Martin Laugh In which, I seem to remember, was somewhat irreverent too. Later, things took a sour turn when puppets were introduced in shows like Spitting Image, where personal, physical factors were used to ridicule. I have never been one to enjoy laughing at cripples or the deformed; taking less than Hollywood faces and turning them into monsters is no show of worth - just cruelty and lack of real argument.

The thing is, those earlier shows managed to make their points without resorting to swearing or insulting people; yes, they surely pilloried them, but deservedly so.

I canīt say I have come across "bad guys" on this site: lots with whom I have a difference of opinion now and then, but not really anyone that I would not read. Perhaps this is partly due to the fact that most people here can write well enough to make their meaning clear enough to avoid too much misinterpretation. It always helps.

Ciao - Rob C
« Last Edit: June 25, 2008, 11:43:41 AM by Rob C » Logged

BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #38 on: June 26, 2008, 01:35:12 AM »
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Our best bet I think is to network in reasonably intelligent forums like this one, and don't make the mistake of getting hung up on particulars - i.e. look for the patterns to see who's contributing and who's poisoning the air.  Hint: The bad guys are often charming and popular.
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Yep, I tend to agree that if hope there is it is probably to be found on the net.

The concern that you are raising I guess is that you still need to feed on some information source somewhere and the openess of the net and freedom to author content is also its weak point.  "Who can we trust" being a lost cause and there is only "what can you trust" left.

I agree that our own ability to think straight is our most valuable asset, but I remain deeply troubled by the trends I see in some of the media I considered independant in some countries like France where the overall democratic discussion has been more vivid than in other geos.

Overall though, education of the masses (starting with myself obviously) is for sure a good direction and sites like www.ted.com provide tremendous opportunities to break the wall of pre-defined knowledge and canned messages and look in new ways at old issues.

Cheers,
Bernard
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dalethorn
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« Reply #39 on: June 26, 2008, 08:48:57 AM »
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In the USA, Infinity corp. and later Clearchannel corp. bought up most of the pop culture programs and talk shows, and then there's Fox network.  I asked a number of young men who grew up during this era, who enjoyed shows like Beavis and Butthead, and Dumb and Dumber, about their political views.  In a word, fascist.  Which in Il Duce's words being the rule of corporations, fits perfectly with Fox, Clearchannel, and Infinity.  Some of you folks out there may be believers in personal choice, but I find that the corporations are powerful persuaders, particularly when an all-gas car that got 62 mpg in 1988 now gets about 37 mpg today, in spite of the petrol crisis.  We have met the enemy and they are us.
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