Jason Scott is mad and he wants you to know it. In fact he’s bloody furious – people’s stuff is being deleted, the world’s nascent digital history is being destroyed, entire artforms are being erased and forgotten. But he and his “bizarro breaking bad librarian” friends “are going to rescue your shit” and if you’re really lucky it may even find its way into a museum.
Jason, @textfiles, is an archivist and historian with a particular interest in digital formats. He started out on BBS systems and has filmed a documentary about them. From there he started collecting textfiles and ascii art and this has developed into a network of archives. Some of the ascii art started out as teletype art and even typewriter art before being transferred to ascii.
Out of the Yahoo announcement that it would close down Geocities in 2009, the “human race coming online for the first time”, was born the Archive Team (not to be confused with archive.org) and his principles of RAGE (“I find hostility’s really worked out for me”), PARANOIA (trust no one with your data – companies are constantly being taken over and destroyed and with them goes your data) & KLEPTOMANIA (backup everything and download entire sites to protect them for posterity). With software such as the Archive Team Warrior, a virtual archiving appliance, they encourage site owners to capture their own sites to help with the ArchiveTeam archiving efforts. But they can only grab public information and encourage everyone to make secure back-ups of all their private data. After hearing of the loss of the sole copies of recollections of deceased family members and entire family histories when Geocities was deleted we should all make this a priority. Recent projects include saving as much of MobileMe that they could get to – they have rescued 420 Terabytes of data over the past two years.
Jason also has a very famous cat Sockamillion @sockington.