I came across a beautifully written [article](https://www.currentaffairs.org/2020/08/the-truth-is-paywalled-but-the-lies-are-free) by Nathan J. Robinson about how quality work costs money to access and propaganda is freely given.
The article makes some good points on why it is important for data to be more free, which I will summarize below:
* 1) Nobody is allowed to build a giant free database of everything human beings have ever produced.
* 2) Copyright law can be an intensive restriction on the freedom of speech and determines what information you can (and not) share with others.
* 3) The concept of a public community library needs to evolve. As books, and other content move online, our communities have as well.
* 4) Human creativity and potential is phenomenally leashed when human knowledge is limited.
* 5) Free and affordable libraries/sources of wisdom are dying.
This got me thinking about why I care about hoarding data. Data is invaluable! A digital dark age is forming around us and we can do what we can to prevent it. A lot of people here will hoard data for personal reasons. I hoard data for others.
The things the people in this subreddit hoard whether it be movies, Youtube, pictures, news articles, websites, all of it is culture. Its history.
Even memes and social media are not crap. Even literal shit is valuable to a scatologist. Can you imagine if we were able to find the preserved excrement from a long extinct animal? What one sees as shit, is so much more to someone else who is trained and educated. Its data. The internet and social media around us is Art and Culture from our time. This is history for the future to use and learn.
Things go viral for a reason. The information shared in the jokes and content are snapshots of the public’s thinking and perspective on the world. Invaluable data for future scholars.
Imagine we found a Viking warship and on it was a perfectly preserved book of jokes. Sure many at the time might have thought they were shit jokes made at the expense of others. But we would learn so much about their customs, society, and the evolution of human civilization if this book was preserved and found. And the book’s contents were made available to the world.
Also a lot of political content is shared on social media and comment sections as well. Our understanding of politics will be carved up in units of memes, and shared on thousands of siloed paywalled platforms and mediums over time. And our role is to collect and consolidate them.
This is but a small sliver of the documentation of how our world is changing around us. And we can do our part to save and make free to others as much of it as we can.
P.S. Many reddit accounts unknowingly (like maybe yours) are being used by bots to vote for content. Please enable 2FA to stop this practice. [Instructions](https://www.reddithelp.com/hc/en-us/articles/360043470031)
P.P.S. Summer of 2020 is time for contingency preparedness. There is no time to get started like the present. Buy your disks now to be prepared for when history needs you.
P.P.P.S. Thank you all for the support and discussion so far. You are some good folks! A song that I enjoy due to it relating to the importance preserving history is “Amnesia” by Dead Can Dance. It has a line in the song that I find quite chilling, “Can you really plan the future when you no longer have the past?”
P.P.P.P.S. Some people like to use the plural verb “data are” instead of the singular “data is” since data are used to refer to a collection. “The fish are being collected”. I merely mention this as a factoid in celebration of this discussion receiving so much attention.
P.P.P.P.P.S. Take a look at this [list of site-deaths](http://indiewebcamp.com/site-deaths
) to remind us of all the now dead sites that once existed.
P.P.P.P.P.P.S For further motivation, consider how: [Facebook is deleting evidence of war crimes](https://archive.today/Fx1md)