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data base problem


There can only ever be one database. When it divides and is separately updated then you are lost. If you have two lists and don’t transfer everything from the old to the new list- and try and run from two lists- you are lost. If you have a manuscript and you update it and then you also have an electronic version without the corrections then you are lost.

Long ago it was hard to replicate data. Paper was rare and expensive. No instant copy function. Now we are drowning in copies of copies. It’s all to easy to spread out sideways indefinitely rather than make any forward momentum.

But the real problem is the proliferation of databases in the cyberworld. All with stuff about you and with automatic updating algorithms. So when a piece of wrong info gets lodged in enough databases it's very hard to dislodge. They keep re-infecting each other with this duff piece of info. Recently I moved into a house where the previous resident had given up trying to change his postcode to the correct one- he used the wrong one because that is what was on most of the official post code databases. It took us about 15 different conversations, calls, emails to get it changed- and still some places have the wrong one listed.

I imagine a future in which there are so many databases with so much wrong or conflicting information that we will return to the old skill of using our nose and our nous to decide what is true or false.


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