The Three Hundredth Post: The One Where I’m Going to Get Back On Track and Make Up a New Job!

I might being back the party, but right now it’s getting a little too arduous to write.  The party was great (Thanks, Amanda!), but writing it is feeling like filling out an after action report.  I should get back to the day-to-day issues and hammering out this idea I have for another sci-fi novel. I’m going to continue the party, but I’m going to do it later.  Right now, I have an idea itching under my skin that I want to get to.

I was hunting around the various news feeds and I remember someone talking about forensic computer science.  I started think what if that were joined with another field?  Say…archaeology?  What if at some point in the far future, there was a discipline of archaeology that dealt with the preservation of computer data?  So I did some research:

  • Better make multiple copies of that CD.  It’s not going to last long.
  • Magnetic tape is worse.
  • The average age of storage in optimum conditions is about 30 years with current tech.

Not really the time span I was looking for.  I had this bit of dialogue in my head and I needed it to work:

"Yeah, my great-grandmother was one of the people hit by the Page Wave. After that, she didn't
trust any tech more advanced than an e-book."

I wanted this piece of information to give us a sense that what the main character was finding was really old.  So, I’m thinking that there is another sort of storage medium to be found that can last a really long time (at least 100 years).

Did you know that scientists are trying to use DNA as a storage medium?  Yeah.  That’s something that can survive at least 60,000 years if stored properly.  Heck, even if it’s stored improperly, it can last a while.  So — there’s something that I can store my plot device.  I’m only looking at that because I want something that’s futuristic, plausible and hardy for the abuse it’s going to take.  I’m going to tweak it a little just to make it sound more exotic: using silicon rather than carbon, having everything suspended in a noble gas to keep it reacting to any outside elements.  I’m looking to show that whoever put this information in the can wanted it save for future generations.  For the time being, the other methods of storage are going to be mostly atomic or quantum level effects: entanglement, pushing around individual atoms, heating up disks of plastic and affixing magnetic bits (one of these things is really happening).  Our main character is going to be very good at what he does.  I don’t know if I want him in some sort of academic setting, or working in the private sector.  I really want to avoid any sort of Indiana Jones cliches with this.  I’m kinda thinking that he could be a mercenary sort, but he likes the academic world as opposed to the private sector in that he gets all the cooler toys to play with.

Well, that’s all I have for now.  Thanks for stopping by.  As always, current books by myself or dear friends to the right, please feel free to take a look.  Tomorrow, I might leak out a few more ideas for this sci-fi novel.  Oh — the novel is titled: The Mind of Man which is taken from here.  Next time, I’m going to try to figure out the other side of the equation.  Why lock up a DNA program for so long?

Thanks for reading, I hope y’all have a good day.


Seething Apathy

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