Digital hoarding

Yesterday, I dug into the deepest nest of folders on my MacBook Pro to find a paper I wrote on a 512K Mac in 1987, for a magazine that no longer exists and isn’t (AFAICT) digitally archived. The file must have made transitions from “hard floppies” to removable 44Mb drives (remember them?) to hard drive to SSD and then, when that filled up, to my iCloud backup.

Today, I read about “digital hoarding“. Count me in!

Whatever the psychological causes, it’s hard to imagine negative real-world consequences from storing files. And it’s easier to search for stuff when you need it than to spend a lot of time filing. I used to sort my email, but now I just delete 90 per cent as it comes in, and archive the rest every couple of years.

In the physical world, I’m the opposite. I’m hopelessly untidy, but I follow Marie Kondo in throwing out anything that no longer sparks joy, and in trying to avoid acquiring stuff I don’t need. Being free of paper has been a huge boon in this respect.

3 thoughts on “Digital hoarding

  1. Uh … I’m supposed to be deleting my texts? Uh-ohhhhh

    Speaking of which, who else has watched “Wagatha?” I enjoyed it and was rather surprised at the end.

  2. There are real costs to digital hoarding. The cloud does not float energy free. Neither do disc drives spin energy free. At the same time, there must great energy savings per unit of information created, stored and retrieved digitally compared to that created, stored and retrieved with analog methods. I assume physical print and physical storage are “analog”?

    Then we must consider Jevons Paradox. The increase in efficiency is eaten up perhaps by the increase in use. Another necessary mitigation of disaster seems in order? Perhaps globally we *are* storing too much digitally. Those server farms use a lot of energy. To be sure, let’s start first with abolishing cryptocurrency and its mining algorithms, checksums and blockchains. There’s lots of low-hanging fruit there. It’s pointless data only created for the grift.

  3. Yet despite all those backups a surprising lot of files and pictures I know I had have disappeared. Or perhaps they do exist but I just can’t find them.

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