Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What Artifacts Will they Use to Learn About Us?

In social studies class, we've been studying the role that artifacts play in helping us to learn more about ancient cultures.  That's been really interesting to me simply because I always wondered how we know what we know about civilizations that existed hundreds -- even thousands -- of years ago.

But the question rolling through my mind right now is what artifacts will they use to learn more about today's civilization?  Or better yet, will they need to use artifacts at all?

After all, so much of our lives are lived online that most of the time, you can just Google somebody and learn a ton about them.  You can watch entire television shows on the web, see interviews with people, and explore thousands and thousands of pictures.

If I understand the web right, those kinds of images and pictures will never go away -- and if they don't, that means people should be able to learn about our civilization without ever having to collect solid artifacts.

Here's what I'm wondering:

  • Is it a good thing that people won't need to look for physical artifacts to learn about our culture?
  • Can you really know everything about a person and/or a civilization from the content that you can learn about them on the web?
  • Will digital artifacts last as long as physical artifacts -- or are physical artifacts longer lasting than digital ones?

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