Jeremy Keith: Time

Orde Saunders' avatarPublished: by Orde Saunders

Jeremy Keith (@adactio) was speaking at Full Frontal about time, these are my notes from his talk.

The Chicago dog is the best dog.  Powers of 10 is a great short video and is set in Chicago. 

One second is a figure we think about a lot on the web - at the speed of light in a cable a signal could travel round the world in 900ms.  The fastest connections are located near the backbones - this is driven by algorithmic trading.  Some of these locations are in the middle of the Oceans so we might see server settlements in these locations.  There is already a server building in New York where a backbone makes landfall, prime city real estate.

This has happened before:  when the rail networks came in there needed to be a central time.  This was set to Greenwich due to the seafaring network.  An accurate time at a known point on the globe was needed to reference objects in the sky which would then give your your current position.  Clocks weren't accurate enough and sundials would only tell you local time (clockwise is down to them being used in the northern hemisphere) and, anyway, that's just measuring the position of a reference in the sky.  As a result an accurate time keeping watch was developed and our networks just got faster.

We put a lot of emphasis on the here and now, maybe we're neglecting the longer term.  Flow is fast - the now, stock is the long term and is getting neglected.

JavaScript was created in 10 days.

100 days is the average lifetime of a web page.

4 years is the average lifetime of a Google product.

Startup acquisition is bad news and irelavent news.  If startups were honest about their business plan being to get acquired then we probably wouldn't give them our data.  At least services like Snapchat are honest about the fact they are going to lose your data.  "The internet never forgets" is bullshit.  You have to work at keeping data alive.  People like are helping to preserve this - access drives preservation.  Don't only put your data into these startup services - keep the master copy yourself:

11 years is how long has been going. - The original URL of this prediction will not exist in 11 years.

Mountains are fairly stable (not on geological time scales).  Swiss Fort Knox is long term storage in a mountain.  In 2010 a time capsule was put in there containing physical storage media formats and digital storage media formats.  HTML is probably the most likely format to be readable.

22 years is how long HTML has been around.  The web is insubstantial - it's agreements.  HTML isn't perfect but it's ubiquitous and has a low barrier to entry.  It's evolved but is still mostly backwards compatible as it has very liberal error handling.

50 years is a good bet for how long HTML will last.

80 years is the life expectancy of a human being.  What's the life expectancy of digital media like photos?

10,000 years - design lifetime.

24,100 years is the half life of plutonium 239 - how do we process radioactive waste?

The Pioneeer and Voyager probes have an unknown long lifetime.

Cern is like one giant hack day.  Particles in the LHC exist for 0.0000000000336 seconds.  The web was a byproduct of this to allow them to collaborate.  That should be the norm - not a fluke.  The dinosaurs died out because they didn't have a space program, we need an off planet backup.  The web is good for our species - we should work towards that.