Deep archives

This was kind of amusing to me, and I tend to assume that things that amuse me must necessarily amuse others, so I thought I’d share.

I was reading a discussion about Japan recently and someone used the word “fukeiki” in their contribution to the discussion.  I didn’t recognize the word offhand, and I was too lazy to grab a dictionary, so I just highlighted the word and told Firefox to look it up in Google.  I figured that would give me both a definition of the word and maybe a little context for its usage.

The second result was an article from Time magazine entitled “Yes, We Have No Fukeiki“, which seemed like it would probably meet both criteria, so I clicked on that and started skimming it.

I wasn’t really paying too much attention to numbers or dates, so it took me about five paragraphs – really, the point where the article starts talking about cotton workers in Osaka having to do their job on roller skates to keep up with the production lines – to say to myself, “self, something is a little weird about this article” and I actually looked at the date it was originally published.

December 19, 1955.

So I was reading a nearly 55-year-old article, but because it was wrapped in the framework of the modern Time Magazine site and I hadn’t been paying THAT much attention to the content, I hadn’t realized it.

I was originally going to title this post “The perils of deep archives”, but on a little reflection, I can’t blame this one on the existence of deep archives, or even on Time Magazine, but solely on my own inattentiveness and assumption that, because something was ranked highly by Google, that it must therefore be current and relevant.  🙂

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