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After an apocalypse, what’s left of digital stores of knowledge?

June 20, 2011

The editor of the Gawker media sci-fi blog io9, Annalee Newitz, is working on a book about how humans will regroup after the apocalypse. That such a book could be considered non-fiction is a remarkable commentary on the world we live in, with gold at a record high, the U.S. government on the verge of default, supplies of cheap oil running out and the environment crashing down on the heads of more humans than anyone ever imagined could simultaneously inhabit spaceship earth.

What happens when all those data centers, housing all that knowledge we digitized without a second thought, go dark?

Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, has one answer: A gigantic, non-descript warehouse in Richmond, California that is home to half a million books.

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