BLDGBLOG does some fascinating navel gazing on the subject of hard drive storage on the planetary scale: if ferromagnetically charged minerals can be arranged to make hard drives, what's stopping us from turning Earth into one giant binary storage capsule, short of the technology?
[W]hat if we could manipulate the earth's own magnetic field and thus program data into the natural energy curtains of the planet?
The earth would become a kind of spherical harddrive, with information stored in those moving webs of magnetic energy that both surround and penetrate its surface.
This extends yet further into an idea that perhaps whole planets out there, turning in space, are actually the harddrives of an intelligent species we otherwise have yet to encounter – like mnemonic Death Stars, they are spherical data-storage facilities made of content-rich bedrock – or, perhaps more interestingly, we might even yet discover, in some weird version of the future directed by James Cameron from a screenplay by Jules Verne, that the earth itself is already encoded with someone else's data, and that, down there in crustal formations of rock, crystalline archives shimmer.
Surely, a science-fiction novel about that very concept has already been written, but all that comes to mind are planet-sized computers, like the Jupiter Brains of Isaac Asimov and Douglas Adams, or IAM from I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream. But as just data capsules for lost civilizations and the like? That sounds like an intriguing weekend read. Can anyone push me in the right direction?
Planet Harddrive [BLDGBLOG]