Today we have so much space on our computer drives that it boggles the mind....so much space that I rationalize keeping things that I should delete. The funny thing is, within my circle of friends, I'm actually one of the more ruthless deleters (is that a word?)...deletitions? Deletionists? Hell, I have fewer than 100 emails in my inbox --- as opposed to several collegues who have (I am not kidding) +13,000 sitting in their inbox...with as many as 3000 unread. And the only reason they stop at 13,000 is that IT forces them to archive occassionally.
Here's my question....why do I save all this crap? I mean, I know what I think I save it. I think I may need it one day. But I alsoknow that when I do need something, 4 times out of 10, I can't find the right email. I could go off on a rant about people who send me emails with subject lines of "question" and "tomorrow's meeting" so that there's no chance of identifying the true topic, but that's not really my point.
Why do we do this? Why do we save 14 versions of a project that's long since been delivered? Why do we save ever iteration of an email string? Why do we faithfully store every crappy presentation that our collegues thrust upon us? It's part lazyness, part covetousness, and part paranoia. Covynoia....that's that's the technical term.
I've yet to meet an ascetic business person....though it would be interesting. "Hello, my name is Pat, and I keep everything I need on this single 1.44MB diskette. When I receive new information, I simply delete the old. So for the near term, I look forward to interacting with you. At some point, though, your contact information will be over-written by a new bit of data, and we will lose contact. Until then, as long as you don't send me any graphic or sound files, I will enjoy our interaction. Hey, don't be sad; it's a FIFO world."