Just What We Always Wanted: An Immortal Archive

October 30, 2013

A less-than-surprising host for this story: Kurzweil: Accelerating Intelligence has a story about hyperarchives: “A Billion Year Storage Medium That Could Outlive the Human Race.”

Researcher Dr. Jeroen de Vries from the University of Twente MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology suggests we could store data for one million to one billion years, using a new storage medium based on tungsten and graphene oxide.

He imagines two possible scenarios:

  • Disaster has devastated the earth and society must rebuild the world
  • We need to create a legacy for future intelligent life that evolves on Earth or comes from other worlds.

And so obviously these speculative futures require that we need to invent storage archives that will outlive us. Viva the archive!


Link Dump: Nuclear, Archival, and Other

October 19, 2013

My apologies, it’s been a busy few weeks and I haven’t had time to add anything new. So here’s couple things I’ve stumbled across recently.

In nuclear news, Craig Whitlock reports for The Washington Post that “the Air Force on Friday fired the general in charge of all land-based nuclear missiles, the second time in a week that a senior commander of the country’s nuclear arsenal has been let go for allegations of personal misconduct.” (I wonder if his misconduct had anything to do with precious bodily fluids.)

Three things from Fukushima: Mari Yamaguchi asks, “Japan’s Water Leaks: How Dangerous?” for the AP. The Sleuth Journal reports that “Radioactive Water From Fukushima Is Systematically Poisoning the Entire Pacific Ocean.”

radioactive-water

And if that weren’t bad enough, Andrew Breiner for Think Progress writes how a “Once-A-Decade Typhoon Threatens Already Leaking Fukushima Nuclear Plant.”

And though I think I’ve reported on this/posted a picture of this before, Flickr has an arresting series of images of archival decay from the abandoned Mark Twain Branch Library in Detroit.

SONY DSC

And a few other assorted links. Netflix as the new canon.

“NSA Able to Foil Basic Safeguards of Privacy on the Web.”

A linguistically hyperarchival study of Facebook.

The questionable article from Inside Higher Education that was making the rounds a couple weeks ago claiming that contingent faculty (adjuncts, lecturers, etc.) are more effective teachers than professors with tenure.

And the House of Representatives stenographer who thinks that opening the Federal Government back up is an affront to and mockery of Jesus.


“The Inverted Nuke in the Garden” Receives SLSA’s Schachterle Prize

October 6, 2013

I am honored to have received this year’s Schachterle Prize from The Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts for my essay, “The Inverted Nuke in the Garden: Anti-Eschatology and Archival Emergence in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest,” which appeared in the Fall 2012 issue of boundary 2. This year’s conference was nothing short of incredible, and it remains one of the most vibrant, stimulating, and humbling conferences I have attended. I will probably post my own paper from the conference in a few days.


SLSA 2013

October 3, 2013

I’m headed off to this year’s Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts Conference at Notre Dame this weekend. I will be presenting my paper, “Infinite Oppenheimer’s and Postnatural Metahistory: Jonathan Hickman’s The Manhattan Projects” Sunday Morning at 9:30. I posted an abstract of the paper previously, and I will probably post the entire paper this coming week. Looking forward to a fun conference.


Two Links on the Government Shutdown

October 1, 2013

Jeff Oaks, my colleague at Pitt, has some interesting thoughts on today’s government shutdown.

And Slate has an interesting new feature “in which American events are described using the tropes and tone normally employed by the American media to describe events in other countries.” First up, “If It Happened There . . . the Government Shutdown,” written by Joshua Keating.


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