My buddy Mathias is planning an interesting course at the University of Gothenburg for this autumn: “The IT Society’s Vulnerabilites“. I translate:

The goal of the course is to improve understanding of the vulnerability inherent in the central role information technology plays in society. The course offers seminars on the relationship between IT and society. Various implementations of IT are presented and discussed, as well as their influence on individuals, organisations and society. The course imparts knowledge about the role of information technology and issues of responsibility, determinism and free will.

Chances are I’ll be a guest speaker on the course, talking about archaeological information security in the past (cuneiform tablets, runestones) and today (digs that never get written up, digital excavation reports, the sack of the National Museum in Bagdad). But I believe most of the seminars and syllabus will be in Swedish.


  1. #1 Mathias Klang
    March 18, 2009

    Thanks for the marketing! Just wanted to promote the course blog which is in Swedish.

    My other blog is in english


  2. #2 Hans Persson
    March 18, 2009

    The fallen-down archive in Cologne, perhaps?

  3. #3 Martin R
    March 18, 2009

    Ah yes, thanks for reminding me!

  4. #4 Jonathan Jarrett
    March 19, 2009

    Obsolescing digital formats? Though you were probably going to mention that already…

  5. #5 Martin R
    March 19, 2009

    Thanks, yeah, that’s part of the point of mentioning rune stones.

    But what’s really scary about digital media isn’t that they get obsolete — it’s that they degrade with time and lose your data even if you have the right machine to read them!

  6. #6 Hans Persson
    March 24, 2009

    Well, deterioration is a problem with media. On the other hand, that something is digital means that you can copy it any number of times without any loss in quality, so the impermanence of media doesn’t have to be a problem.

  7. #7 Martin R
    March 24, 2009

    It means you need to pay for continuous data transfer. You can’t just put your digital cuneiform tablet in a basket in the archives and forget about it.

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