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Digital Dark Age? [electronic resource]: Gambling With Humankind's Knowledge

German United Distributors
Video; Computer Resource; Online Video; Online
Compact and portable, digitized information is an attractive alternative to bulky books, analog media, and emulsion-based photographs-but can it stand the test of time? In this program, Stewart Brand, co-inventor of the TCP/IP Internet protocol, and others in the know assess the rapid proliferation of digitization; confront the alarming risk of massive data loss through technology obsolescence, platform incompatibilities, and storage media degradation; explore the potentially catastrophic impact of data loss on cultural identity; and outline some of the efforts being made to stave off a digital dark age.
Release Date
Run Time
53 min.
  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on May 12, 2005.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
Variant Title
Gambling with humankind's knowledge
  • Changes in Recording History (4:28)
  • Digital Continuity (4:46)
  • Compact Discs (5:44)
  • How Long Can Data Be Safely Stored? (3:33)
  • Paradigm Shift (5:46)
  • History of Computers and Emulation (5:01)
  • Migration and Film Digitization (3:06)
  • Preserving for Prosterity (4:51)
  • Deciphering Data (4:48)
  • Rosetta Disc (4:30)
  • Preserving the Culture's Identity (4:48)
New York, N.Y. : Films Media Group, [2005], c2002.
Publisher no.
33079 Films Media Group
Access Restriction
Access requires authentication through Films on Demand.
1 streaming video file (53 min.) : sd., col., digital.
Mode of access: Internet.
System requirements: FOD playback platform.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View