Today I have been occupied in revising the bibliographies in a number of papers I have written, with a view to publication, and have discovered on clicking through a number of the internet links that they no longer exist.
Since ours is a predominantly on line cultural history, that much of our archaeology has been effectively wiped out and is inaccessible now.
Of course key texts like the Institute for the Neurotypical, and Jim Sinclairs writings are still there, but I am no longer able to find Martijn Dekkers paper, which I often cite. (click on his link and see for yourself what I mean)
This is the problem with the internet, in that you can still find out of print books in libraries, but if you try and follow any internet links given in them, likely as not they are no longer there.
I have myself been a victim of this, in that I have recently lost two domain names with the demise of Lycos Europe who hosted them, and that is just a microcosm.
I recall nearly ten years ago now, reading the web sites of Amanda Baggs, Jared Blackburn, Dave Spicer, Frank Klein and others, but where are they now?
Ok I know where Amanda is, but I am referring to the original Aleis in Wonderland site, and there are many more examples.
I myself have tried to keep popular stuff which is frequently referenced stable, in that I have not moved those pages around on my original Geocities site, but anything that was on Lycos has now gone.
Wikipedia is no better. Whilst this is useful it has it's limits. There is so much that is subject to the inumerable "wiki wars" and so much which is little more than plagiarism from out of copyright encyclopedias which by definition is going to be more of historical interest than anything else.
The early history of Neurodiversity and the usage of the word has been effectively wiped out by wiki wars, the current article in wikipedia being inaccurate, uninformative and biased.
It is more than annoyance, because it really hampers the work of someone like me, who cites from the internet a lot.
This is one reason I am now submitting papers to journals, because otherwise in another ten years time, none of it will necessarily still be able to be read. This blog being an example, at some point google could change their terms of reference, and it could be gone in the proverbial puff of smoke ........
Of course the shifting landscape of the internet is not only our concern, it can be very embarrasing too: Home Office in new pornography embarrassment