Tuesday, 6 September 2016

An Evening With Vint Cerf

Yesterday evening I had the pleasure of attending a talk in London by Dr Vinton Cerf. Widely known as one of the "Fathers of the Internet".  Cerf is the co-designer of the TCP/IP protocols and the architecture of the Internet along with his colleague, Robert E. Kahn. As a Vice President of Google, he contributes to global policy development and the continued spread of the internet. The lecture was at Stationers' Hall in London and hosted by three city of London Livery companies including the Stationer's Company.
The hall was packed to capacity. Vint Cerf is an excellent speaker, injecting his talk with personal anecdotes and humour. He fears that future generations will have little or no record of the 21st Century as we enter what he describes as a digital Dark Age. "Even if we accumulate vast archives of digital content, we may not actually know what it is” His concerns about archiving our digital age are many and he is spending much time looking into the problem and the possible solutions. He outlined many of the issues whilst introducing those people and institutions who are also trying to address the problem of archiving the internet.

When pontificating about the current best way to preserve information for the future, he said "best to print it on some good quality paper and store it in good conditions" (I've paraphrased the remark) - an interesting comment in this day and age.

The lecture was excellent and left the audience all wondering for the future....

Readers may also be interested to read the article I wrote previously about a paper mill in Finland that has been converted to a data farm by Google!
Posted by Justin Hobson 06.09.2016

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