Books will disappear with all the knowledge about the past in them

Vladimir Odoevsky : Philosopher, writer
his process will be supported by the inevitable disappearance of our paper records. It’s already well known that in some countries, such as America there are insects which see to it that books don’t last more than a century. But there are other factors which can easily destroy the highest quality cotton paper over the course of a few hundred years. What do you think we would know about the Pharaoh Necho, or even Darius the Great, Psammetichus or Solon the Athenian if the ancients had not written on papyrus, pergament or best of all on stone tablets? Even after one millennium, to say nothing of two and half, will anything be left of our books? Well of course some of them will be re-printed, but once the originals are gone mistakes and misunderstandings will start to appear and there’ll be nothing to check them against. So guesswork will add another quantity of errors while the earlier copies will in turn also disappear so that in 2.5 millennia people will have a much hazier picture of our times than we have even of the period of 700 BC that is to say, 2500 years before today.

"The Year 4338: Petersburg Letters"|outline