Bruce Sterling and the archivists

What happens when the archivists visit a living cyberpunk SF author and start carting his papers away. There are many good lines in this story, but this is the one that sticks with me:

Scholars won’t find any digital artifacts—no hard drives or floppy disks, for instance, in the material he’s given the Ransom Center so far. “I did not have any electronic documents to give them. Not even one,” he says. “I’ve never believed in the stability of electronic archives, so I really haven’t committed to that stuff.”

“There are forms of media which are just inherently unstable, and the attempt to stabilize them is like the attempt to go out and stabilize the corkboard at the laundromat,” he adds. “You can get into big trouble that way.”

Those who tout digital permanence, he says, “need to go talk to the archivists.”

H/T Boing Boing.