This essay focuses on unofficial preservation practices and why they are sometimes more effective than professional enterprises.1 After challenging the prevailing expectations about durability as the touchstone of long-term cultural memory, this chapter looks at the rise of preservation by so-called amateurs in writing emulators and crowdsourcing the replication of 3D artifacts. It concludes with the challenges of such proliferative preservation to conventional notions of cultural heritage.
The Oldest Human Record
Take a look at Figure 25.1. Which of these is the oldest human record? The Rosetta Stone, the Cycladic idol, the Megatherium, or the Gudea Cylinders?
The Megatherium Lives
This is the oldest human record I have found: the story of the mapinguary, passed down from generation to generation among the Indians of the Brazilian rainforest. Twenty feet tall, ...