Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The physical location of a string of bytes

Just kind of a random conceit today.

I've talked a lot about the placement of a particular string of bytes on your hard drive being either "good" or "bad" according to "conventional wisdom" (also known as what the media tell you).

But indeed, my bigger point is that it exists nowhere.

A string of bytes is a thing in your mind as much as anything.  It can exist on the Pirate Bay, or it can exist on your hard drive, or it can be sent encrypted to you from Pandora or Spotify or Netflix.

The question is often, "what if it was real stuff?" and it is easy to get bogged down in this.  As has been said before many times, yes, if I could make an exact copy of your car and drive off with it, I would do that.

Every time.

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