What Ray Bradbury Can Teach Businesses About Data

Science fiction writer Ray Bradbury recently passed away, but the ideas he dug into in his books will remain far into the future. His concerns included space exploration, automation of daily life and information storage, both in physical form and in other forms. This last point is one that is especially relevant to businesses, as they continue moving forward into the modern age with developing new systems for information sharing and storage.

Bradbury’s Ideas in “Fahrenheit 451”

Probably the most famous and widely read of Bradbury’s books is “Fahrenheit 451,” which is set in a future in which books are banned. The main character learns about the value of the written word, though, and discovers a group of people who are working to preserve the information stored in them. They discussed books not as something magical in and of themselves, but as items that have value because of the information they contain.

Bradbury explored alternatives to information storage in books, discussing how information is stored in shared experiences, in memory and in high-tech media. Although he only had experiences of older forms of media when he wrote the book, he was foreshadowing the electronic data storage that we see today. There is nothing special in and of itself, but it’s important because it is one of the many ways that individuals and organizations can catalog, store and retrieve information.

Bradbury’s Commentary on Data

Although Ray Bradbury thought that data was important, he also wasn’t a huge fan of technology in general. His preference is toward the experiential storage of information, and he actually had a general distrust for electronics. He foresaw many types of technology, including large, flat screens that allowed people to interact with others from their homes, automated bank machines, live video coverage in the media and mobile communication devices.

Bradbury accurately predicted that in the future, people would be able to store vast amounts of data through technology. Businesses today often have almost entirely electronic data storage. He also predicted that technology would make it easier to access information from multiple locations. With the Internet and Web servers, companies can get the same data from multiple workstations, even if they’re around the world.

Data security, though, is one of the concerns that Bradbury brought up in his novels. Because it’s so easy to destroy data, it’s critical for businesses to have the data stored in more than one place. If it’s all on one server that gets destroyed, the business is left with nothing. This is why businesses should focus on backing up data, having a recovery solution and storing it not only on multiple electronic devices, but also on paper and in the minds of multiple people.

Bradbury’s Legacy

Most of Bradbury’s stories took place in the future, and often a distant one, but many of the things he wrote about have already come to pass. His ideas and concerns, even those we have not experienced yet, will persist long after his death. People and organizations could stand to take advice from him with regard to information storage and sharing, which need to be carefully managed.

Zach Buckley is a freelance writer who is interested in exploring the intersection of culture, science and education. He lives in the Midwest and enjoys music, literature and good food.

Image via: raybradbury.com

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