Ben VickersDead links

Palmyra, destroyed

How it might play out

Each of us, it is likely, at one time or another, has had to deal with loss, the deafening silence of a friend passing, the destruction of the irreplaceable, memories softened and rearticulated by the reflective archive; shoebox under the bed, celluloid – the flicking of a switch, the press of a button.

You should probably relax though – efforts are underway to stem the tide and soften the blow of memory’s entropic nature, harvesting everything, remembering nothing.

Handwritten note, an ancient manuscript, paintings on a crumbling rock face, in some cases centuries have passed with only a few fragments having been allowed to be lost – but then these are things stored differently.

Comforted by convergence; some say the world is accelerating exponentially, some say that the intersect of technological innovation will take us to a better place.

But, somewhere between the singularity and On Exactitude in Science there is a building worthy of our attention and perhaps symbolically in future hindsight of great historical importance. Constructed during 30 BC The Royal Library of Alexandria, or the Ancient Library of Alexandria, in Egypt, was one of the largest and most significant libraries of the ancient world. It was dedicated to the Muses, the nine goddesses of the arts and charged with collecting all the world’s knowledge into a single place. It serves now in the present looking back as an emblem of loss.

They say, if you wish to destroy a culture, you should burn the library.

Without such artifacts, civilization has no memory and no mechanism to learn from its successes and failures.

Coping with Loss

robots.txt
This is just an FYI that because we did not receive a request to renew it, and because “████████” has expired, the domain name has just been deleted from the registry.

Sometime around the summer of 2012 I let the domain lapse, I never made a backup and the robot.txt had ensured it was safe from preservation. I imagine the life it hosted was purged from the server within a 12-18 month period, at least that’s what the automated email told me.

It’s commonly accepted that grief is a natural response to any form of loss.

Grieving is a personal and highly individual experience. How you grieve depends on many factors, including your personality and coping style, your life experience, your faith and the nature of the loss. The grieving process takes time. Healing happens gradually; it can’t be forced or hurried—and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it’s important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.

  • Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
  • Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
  • Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
  • Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
  • Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”

Babel’s Librarians

Babel’s Librarians

Backed up and mirrored between a former place of prayer and upon the grave of an ancient fire – exists the internet’s history, 1996 to now. Stewarded by a caring millionaire.

Internet Archive / Internet Memory Foundation / Library of Congress Digital Library project / LibriVox / National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program / Project Gutenberg / UK Government Web Archive at The National Archives / UK Web Archiving Consortium / WebCite

Harvesting everything, remembering nothing.

An Invitation:

  1. Pause and focus for a moment, recall a time and place - attempt to visit that place.
  2. If lost reflect on your time there.
  3. Take a moment to leave an inscription and file away the memory so that it can be shared with others using the form below.

Over time I will do the same.