This post on the Long Now blog, in combination with the recent discussions on the Cernio mailing lists regarding the Co-op’s financial disorganization have me thinking about the future of my (and our) data. Data curation. I have a responsibility to make it all portable, both for you, and for me. A responsibility Blogger and Facebook and Apple do not sign up to, I might add. But not all of the semantics are transferrable to other formats and systems. So there will be loss. Augh. And learning. Slow learning. There are some times when going off on your own isn’t a good idea, and data management is one of them. Unless it’s going to be your primary vocation, if the semantics you want don’t exist in a standardized way, you cannot build them. You cannot impose them. You have to wait for the rest of the world to catch up with your desires.
On the way out to Bodega Bay yesterday we stopped in Sebastopol at the Luther Burbank Experimental Farm, or what’s left of it anyway – all but three acres of an original 18 have been sold off. It is disheveled, and there are no guided tours, just a few acres of numbered plants, mostly fruit and nut trees, that you can look up on a brochure and map in a box by the barn. That didn’t matter at all. It’s a wonderful place.