The catastrophic consequences of total loss of data


It never ceases to amaze me that people who cling so vehemently to their clutter rarely – if ever – back up their hard drive.

A competition run by Salon magazine in 1998 captured the essence of this experience so well in the haiku poems created by readers, designed to mimic Windows error messages. Here are some examples:

Your file was so big.
It must have been quite useful.
But now it is gone.

A crash reduces
Your expensive computer
To a simple stone.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

Haiku poems are used in Japan to communicate timeless messages. The structure of 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third creates a particular rhythm that resonates deeply inside us. Applying this principle to Windows error messages began as a piece of fun but ended up creating memorable poetry that goes to the heart of the issue in a way that no amount of sensible reasoning can.

Here are some more:

Having been erased,
The document you’re seeking
Must now be retyped.

Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Program aborting:
Close all that you have worked on.
You ask far too much.

First snow, then silence.
This thousand-dollar screen dies
So beautifully.

And one of my own that I wrote today:

Do you feel lucky?
Tempting fate without backup
You live on the edge.

If you have any data at all stored exclusively on a computer, this is one type of procrastination you cannot afford. Ask anyone who has ever experienced it. Total loss of data is a traumatic event you will wish you had prevented.

If you know how to back up your computer and you haven’t done it in the last week, do it today. If you don’t know how to do it, do an internet search for the information and then do it immediately.

Copyright © Clear Space Living Ltd 2012, updated 2019

About Karen Kingston

Karen Kingston is a leading expert in clutter clearing, space clearing, feng shui, and healthy homes. Her two international bestselling books have combined sales of over three million copies in 26 languages and have established themselves as "must-read" classics in their fields. Her best-known title, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, is now in its fifth edition. She is best known for her perspective-changing insights and practical solutions that enable more conscious navigation of 21st-century living.
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