alternative futures: the day everything disappeared29 Jan 2018
what would happen if all the online traces we all thought we were leaving got deleted by accident? or removed on purpose by a totalitarian government in a “crysallnacht” attempt to destroy history and take control of the future
we were devastated.
it was my granddaughter’s first birthday and no one could speak. we had prepared so well for the recording of her first time meeting the extended family. my husband and i had gotten our house cleaned up and everything. our four housemates, a younger gay couple in their 40s and two university students, had cleaned up all their spaces and helped us clean the common areas, too.
moussa and i had cooked for hours, preparing for our daughter and daughter-in-law to bring their little one to celebrate her first year of life on earth. we had invited our siblings and son (who had somehow still managed to keep from creating a child, thank goodness) and many, many friends. we had the living room all set up with the 3d camera gear the night before, ready to capture every moment from every angle.
when we went to bed the night before, we had fallen asleep watching videos of our own kids’ first birthdays. captured in stunning detail we could see everything that happened in every moment. we were ready, thrilled even, to create the same memory for the youngest adopted addition to the family.
but when we woke up, everything was gone. we checked all our cloud backups and it was all gone. at first, i was just stunned into silence. i couldn’t believe it.
i turned on the news feed on my smartphone and projected it onto the big, open, living room wall. it had happened everywhere. news pundits were speaking calmly as though nothing major had happened. but google, which had been made public just one year earlier, had done it.
they deleted everything in the cloud.
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