Permanence and the Cloud

The “cloud” has made the illusion of security stronger. The idea that all my documents are on someone else’s hard drive has removed the urgency I once felt to keep a backup of everything.

But wait, my data is on someone else’s drive, and I’m totally okay with that? What happens if their security is breached? What if my note-taking app decides to lock me out because they go out of business or change their policy? Imagine losing 3,500 notes. What if it’s not as secure as we think?

This was sparked by an incident the other day where my note-taking app did lock me out. It prompted me to purchase their paid plan and gave me no other option for accessing my files. They accidentally held my stuff hostage. I regained access a short time later, but what if they decided to hold it hostage for real?

As I was thinking through cloud options and backups with a fresh energy, I realized what I’m actually searching for is permanence. There is no real permanence for us. Almost everything we make will be lost and forgotten. It takes serious effort to document and remember who made or accomplished what in history, and when it’s done, only a handful of people (history buffs) are interested enough to listen. 

I have thousands of photos that, since I took them, I haven’t reviewed once. If I don’t care enough to do it, who will?

Why do we crave permanence, though it is bestowed on so few?

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