We need a new long-term storage strategy, and if we don’t find it, we won’t be able to enjoy the future promises that lie ahead. If we’re going to store everyone’s DNA, every global transaction and every data from every object connected to the Internet of Things, and all the data from NASA, particle physics experiments and all the information created by more than 7 billion people on the planet every day we are going to need a better way. Okay, so let’s talk, okay?

What if we could store data using a quantum physics strategy, encoding magnetic tape, but unlike IBM’s old core tape, a new type of almost invincible tape that could last 1000 years at room temperature? Yes really.

What if we borrow an idea from that Russian scientist who uses tape to capture carbon atoms one atom thick to get graphene? Then encode the grapheme and save it to his tape, or something. If we covered it with sulfur atoms on the other side of a very thin porous tap, we would store the data even if the tape were to dissolve in the future, because it might contain the imperfections of graphene or the inadvertent folds of the squared grapheme.

What if we could store information on strands of DNA?

DNA could be an even better option, since we can work with four components, Letters. How about little slivers of DNA encoded and then encapsulated in carbon nanotubes? You can store a lot of information in DNA, even dual codes in it, as biotech scientists have recently discovered, codes within codes.

What about adding dimensions?

What about storing and computing with information over time? How about taking a Rydberg Atom and playing around with the electron spins and chasing information through the spin vortex? Reading through time, in another trajectory in the walls of the vortex or within the walls of multidimensional computing? All you have to do is be able to manipulate it precisely and read it on the fly.

Going back to the concept of DNA, consider this:

You could take the DNA of a dinosaur egg that grows 50 times faster than a chicken egg, and use a benign virus that would replicate incredibly fast and calculate its RNA, once the calculations are complete, freeze it. We can read the DNA of dinosaur eggs now, how many 450 million years of storage? See that point. I just think we have to think outside the box.

Not that I’m not against IBM’s tape storage: many corporations have data on tape at the Salt Mines, Iron Mountain facility. But now we can store better, and once in a salt mine, you don’t have to worry about EMP, for example. Dig it up, bury it, then it’s just a matter of how much data you can store on the smallest known device.

If we wanted to store all the data of life on Earth, we could even send that data in light waves and someday duplicate life on Earth by sending the instructions somewhere else, like a seed, a zip file, or a program (style algorithmic). Find a host planet with the right necessities for life, submit the plan, little by little as it evolves. Terraforming + life + DNA at the species level + information about everything. A slower process than the Star Trek transporter but within our current technology roughly 10-15 years of research from now? Think about it.

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