• Ghar Parau dinner invitation

    Have you or your club benefitted from Ghar Parau funding for an expedition?

    To mark the occasion of the 50th anniversary of its creation, a meal is to be held at the Anchor Inn in Tideswell, Derbyshire on Saturday 11th February, 2023. As well as a meal there will be speakers on behalf of the original Ghar Parau explorers and the current GPF committee.

    Details here

Has Facebook Won ?

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
The thing with Wikipedia is that it can be fed incorrect data that is missed by the moderators. Regarding Wrecksite that is much more controlled and basically has just the one super moderator who lets very little pass without inspection. It has a corrections page that can be seen by members. Still thats another matter. Paper data is only valuable if its listed as a bibliography. Sadly MCRA bibliography data is miles out of date. Vurley has a miserable list compared with all that has been published. I guess its an onerous task for anyone to keep that up to date. So thats where paper and IT work together. I think most clubs have pages relating to past copies of their journals. Going forward is the problem. I am still waiting for a journal from my club for this year.
 

tomferry

Active member
I am registered on Facebook probably check it once a month, i am not a fan though, I find it best to ignore it all if you don’t enjoy it :cool:
 

mikem

Well-known member
Any journal / Wikipedia / website will only ever have as much information as you (or others) choose to input. Wikipedia at least has multiple moderators, whilst journals & many websites only have one (over time a lot of rubbish has been posted on all of them!)
 

Andrew N

Active member
I don’t agree that digital information is any less likely to be retained than stuff in a journal or book. You only need to look at the condition of some old copies of Northern Caves to see that paper can degrade very quickly.

I think it is a matter of what people are used to. I have a huge digital archive of information (of all kinds) that dates back over a decade - to when computers and the internet started really taking off as a medium to disseminate information. It’s over 300GB in size and it’s backed up in multiple places. I feel far more confident of holding on to this information than any book I own, which can be ruined by one accident or fire. To hold this amount of information on paper, CDs, DVDs, etc would be impossible for most people.

I have no doubt that my ever expanding digital archive will still be there when I am 70, just as older members of this forum will have books from when they were my age.

I own a number of caving books and journals on paper and I enjoy sitting down and reading them, but I’d feel much more happy about retaining that information for decades if I had a digital copy too.

There is space for paper formats, as well as digital formats. Ideally, publications would be provided in both formats, just as books have been for some time now. If people want to buy paper - feel free - I’ll read it, too, but I’ll also be keeping a digital copy for longevity.

Of course websites can disappear from the internet, that’s why I save copies of any particularly interesting information I find in my personal archive. Certain resources, such as UKCaving, would represent a huge loss of knowledge if they were to disappear. As such I’ve saved some individual posts in text files - ones that seem most useful to me. Hopefully, UKCaving have a plan as to how all the information contained within their servers would become available publicly should the forum administration no longer wish to or be able to run it.

People posting tidbits on Facebook and not recording it “formally” is likely no different to what has always happened. I’m sure people used to find things and keep them relatively to themselves, and only tell a few mates in the pub. It’s the same thing - it’s just you can see it more easily now.
 

Brains

Well-known member
Possibly off on a tangent, but I have heard that CD and DVD discs, especially those burnt at home or on re-recordable media, can become lost in as little as 5 years as the optical storage system breaks down. AFAIK even pre recorded discs arent good for more than a couple of decades. Are magnetic formats better? Vinyl records or wax cylinders are still playable after 100 years plus. I believe such formats can be read optically to prevent physical wearing of the grooves. Even so playback devices are required... The written word can last for 1000's of years, even if we dont always have a rosetta stone!
 

mikem

Well-known member
The digital archive is unlikely to survive beyond you though, whilst there is more chance with books
 

Andrew N

Active member
The digital archive is unlikely to survive beyond you though, whilst there is more chance with books
Yes, but the only evidence for saying that is that we have never had a generation of digital data to pass down. It's an unproven concept. I see no reason why the data, if it is lost from it's original source, can't be contributed back to some sort of online digital archive which is maintained by a team of people. The concept is no different from a paper library, whether that library be private or public.

I see no reason why the above won't happen. The BCA/BCRA are already moving in this direction.
 

andrewmcleod

Well-known member
Possibly off on a tangent, but I have heard that CD and DVD discs, especially those burnt at home or on re-recordable media, can become lost in as little as 5 years as the optical storage system breaks down. AFAIK even pre recorded discs arent good for more than a couple of decades. Are magnetic formats better? Vinyl records or wax cylinders are still playable after 100 years plus. I believe such formats can be read optically to prevent physical wearing of the grooves. Even so playback devices are required... The written word can last for 1000's of years, even if we dont always have a rosetta stone!
Digital data can last, perfectly preserved, forever - and unlimited copies can be made. The best storage is live, not archive - multiple copies sat on live systems, and all the data moved to the next system as they are replaced. You do have issues with accessing old digital formats but it's massively less of an issue than accessing old physical formats e.g. it's still fairly trivial to access some antiquated image format from the 70s but it's a pain to access something on floppy disk these days.
 

Pitlamp

Well-known member
There is space for paper formats, as well as digital formats. Ideally, publications would be provided in both formats, just as books have been for some time now.

Agreed - I'd go a bit further and point out the importance of both.
 

PeteHall

Moderator
Yes, but the only evidence for saying that is that we have never had a generation of digital data to pass down.
Have you tried sorting through the possessions of deceased relative?

It's hard enough already, and I can't imagine anyone will have much appetite for going through 300Gb of data for just 10 years of your life. Imagine how much data that will be by the time you are 80 or 90! Who is really going to go through all that?!?
 

cap n chris

Well-known member
Have you tried sorting through the possessions of deceased relative?

It's hard enough already, and I can't imagine anyone will have much appetite for going through 300Gb of data for just 10 years of your life. Imagine how much data that will be by the time you are 80 or 90! Who is really going to go through all that?!?
Correct Pete. It goes into skip(s)/landfill or three weeks' of bonfires if it's burnable.
 

tomferry

Active member
I would rather get left 10x photo albums any-day than a box floppy disc”s I am only 30 and don’t own any pc just iPhone .
 

Pegasus

Administrator
Staff member
One solution is to cut and paste pieces written for the forum and put them into appropriate club journals. I did this for the animal stories recently so they are preserved for posterity. Does anybody mind if I plunder the forum in this way?
I certainly don't.



I agree with Tim, it isn't a race.

Here is an image of a facebook building, read about it here
https://www.wsj.com/articles/archit...look-at-facebooks-new-headquarters-1430992803
PJ-CB552A_faceb_P_20150506174900.jpg


The company turnover billions, employs 100,000's makes huge profits etc etc....

UKC is owned by Tim and me, we run it from home, usually sat on the sofa with our laptops - we are ever grateful to our Team of Moderators who are volunteers. UKC isn't run for profit but thank goodness for Inglesport, SpanSet, Starless River and Warmbac for their kind, generous support, what we don't use running UKC we use to support various aspects of caving.

You'd be surprised how much time running UKC takes up - I've not been well this Summer and have had to take a back seat (better now, hoping to do more as Autumn/Winter progresses when we're busier anyway). Previously we've had stalls at Hidden Earth, run the Grand Prizes many times at CHECC, been heavily involved in promoting caving at Kendal Mountain Festival. We've offered rope to expeditions, run competitions for some pretty good prizes and best of all we've turned UKC round from a negative to a positive place to be online, and upgraded the softwear. UKC was really busy during covid, I'm proud the forum helped to entertain folks during that awful time. We care about cavers, caves and caving, I doubt Mark Z gives a shit though, too busy counting his money.

So how can we ever, ever compete? We can't and we aren't going to lose any sleep over it. UKC is here, run by cavers for cavers - it's the best forum in the UK and we try our best :)

If you're happy with facebook taking over all aspects of caver connectivity, fair enough, nothing I can do about that. If however you would like Descent, club journals, UKC etc etc to still be around, it's simple - engage. Lurkers, why not register and join in - if UKC entertains you, give something back, 'like' a post maybe?? Tell your mates about UKC, share UKC on SM, buy a copy of Descent, write an article for your club journal etc. I know many of you do and you make a difference, thank you.

Cheers, Pegasus xx
 

The Old Ruminator

Well-known member
Well said Pegasus. I try to do my bit in all aspects of caving information. Journals ( still waiting ) here and even on Facebook. I hope you are feeling much better now. At age 75 I can barely crawl out of bed in the morning now.
 

mrodoc

Well-known member
Reading the messages after my last post. We are in a revolution. I rest my case. Nobody currently has all the answers!
 

Andrew N

Active member
Have you tried sorting through the possessions of deceased relative?

It's hard enough already, and I can't imagine anyone will have much appetite for going through 300Gb of data for just 10 years of your life. Imagine how much data that will be by the time you are 80 or 90! Who is really going to go through all that?!?
I have - I know exactly what you’re on about. I’m not expecting anyone to sort through all that data. What I’m saying is, it can be published to an archive/library etc whilst I am still alive. Such a library doesn’t quite exist yet, but it will within the next decade or two.

The next generation of cavers won’t have any appetite for writing in paper journals - it’ll seem totally alien to them.

It’s no different from paper. Many paper caving books will have simply been put in the bin come someone’s death also as whoever found them won’t be aware of what they are.
 
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