I just received a brand new laptop as the old one that I bought 3 years ago were showing sign of stress. Out of luck, on the day I began working on my new gadget the old one decided to die. It refused to even start up. I had planned to transfer all of my files to the new laptop. That plan has now unraveled.
While I have backed up most of my files from routine maintenance that I conducted, the past year has seen me slacking off. I managed to recover some pictures only because I have not deleted anything from my camera. I managed to recover some of my music because of my iPod.
The crash has led me to ponder about the digitalization of my life. I wonder also about the digitalization of humanity. The specific question is, if for some reason humanity becomes extinct, how much would be left behind? Would a new intelligent being be able to figure out the true grasp of humanity?
Sure, there would be buildings, bridges, roads, power lines, vehicles, books and others, but with many more — a whole lot more — digitalized, a significant portion of humanity would be gone just like that. To think of the old laptop of mine, I think I have lost all of my bookmarks, some of my spreadsheets, plans, some codes that I wrote, music that I love, things that I wrote to a former lover, games, movies, pictures of those dear to me — I feel as if I lost years.
This feeling of loss of mine points to the very real notion that we are transient beings. Even our memories. I find that distressing.