How Much Hard Drive Space Holds A Human Life?
How much storage does it take to store a human life?
That’s a dangerous and highly subjective question, but according to Gordon Bell, a researcher at Microsoft, the average human being’s life requires three hundred and fifty gigabytes to adequately store it all.
On the surface, that seems low. Given that the average two hour DVD runs about four gig, on a strict conversion scale, three hundred and fifty gigabytes would represent about eighty eight, give or take a few minutes, hours of video. A human life is vastly more than eighty eight hours of video. But then, we really don’t know what kind of compression or resolution we’re talking about–after all, my last dream involving sideswiping a Rolls-Royce that had Caterpillar-style tank treads instead of tires really wasn’t anywhere near the resolution of a regular DVD, and it absolutely didn’t have anything on Blu-ray.
But what this means is even more interesting. Or exciting, or terrifying depending on how you choose to look at it. Any schmuck off the street with a part-time job can afford a terabyte hard drive. That’s effectively enough to store his entire life and consciousness almost three times over, and four times if he pops for the one and a half terabyte model.
So the question remains…how long before someone tries the upload?