No, this isn't a post about how evil amazon is squeezing the lifeblood from smaller vendors. Nor is it a post about how amazon is saving smaller vendors from being crushed by much larger domestic competition. In fact, it's not about amazon at all. That was just a clickbait title.
I've been accumulating data since I was five. That’s 33 years of hoarding. Sure, I’m quite good about trimming it down and every time I do a major revision several tens of gigabytes get shaved off. But my hoard is increasing quicker than I can reduce it in each iteration. All securely and reliably backed up in redundant raids with regular bitrot checks.
Being my paranoid self I’ve been doing off-site backups for decades. At first it was tapes stored at work or my parents’ place. Then it was cds and dvds in the worst incremental system you could ever imagine. Restoring an archive that was heavily modified would require juggling dozens of discs. Eventually I moved to “cloud” backups before the word cloud had ever been uttered in conjunction with technology.
For some reason I’ve mostly avoided amazon’s infrastructure. But when I decided to leave my old provider no alternatives truly made sense. So I whipped together a system that would archive directories, gnupg encrypt them and then sync to amazon’s glacial storage. Upon doing this I realized that my digital hoard isn’t precious memories. It isn’t a treasure trove of nostalgic source code and family pictures. It’s a chain around my neck that will slowly choke me until the day that I die.
My paranoia about losing even a single photo of my father became extreme when he passed 8 years ago. I’ve got my entire archive of let’s play videos, even the raw video capture in some cases. If you can imagine it then I’ve got a copy of it. Terrabytes of data that I will never have a use for. I might like to browse through it at times but it will never benefit me in any way. Yet I know I will keep lugging it along until the day that I die, whereupon my credit card will fail and amazon will delete it. Is this just an emotional, financial and honorific tithe?
I hope amazon crashes and burns so I’ll lose all my data. So I can be free.