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Chaotic Backup is a method by which you can avoid data loss. It's a method of data insurance by altruistic social quazi-random data distribution. A good example of this is where a group of friends habitually give data to each other. So, rather than having all your computer programs and photos with their only copy on your own machine, you give copies to your friends, and then if the worst happens and your computer is nobbled, you can just ask your friends and have a reasonable hope that they'll have a backup copy of some of your data. Plus, if any of your friends have a data accident, they'll be able to recover from most of the loss by asking you and other people that they know.
The method works quite well and quite naturally. If you've created computer programs, interesting works of art, etc, your friends will most likely be pleased to have copies for their own use and enjoyment. Similarly, you'll probably find other people's data an asset. Of course you have to all trust each-other, but you know your friends and how much you trust them.
The key feature that makes the privacy aspect work is an understanding of the distinction between data that's your own and data which you're looking after for someone else. This is no more tricky than the idea that if you borrow a book then you have give it back sometime, and without nibbling the corners or writing things in the margins.
The method of chaotic backup has various advantages and disadvantages. Here's a brief summary:
GOOD POINTS OF CHAOTIC BACKUP:
* Your data is not lost even if your machine has something unfortunate happen to it. Even total catastrophe such as fire, deluge, lightning, (see insurance), disastrous things that can eradicate all your physical possessions, can not lose your data if your friends have copies of it. So, even if you lost your house, your family album is safe!
* Even if the government tries to have you assassinated and erased, they will fail to remove your influence if your friends have copies of your creative works. The government don't know how many friends have other friends, and they can't kill us all.
* If you're in the business of creative computer programming, your friends will be able to benefit from programming you've done, and you'll be able to benefit from things they've done. It's a mutual programming network where techniques are built up by continuous shared evolution.
* If you have a website, then on top of the obvious good sense of keeping the definitive version of your website offline, you can give away copies of your entire website to your friends, giving extra backup ability and in some cases historical archive. This idea requires even less security, as your website is public, so you can give away copies to acquaintances as well as friends. (Your enemies already have access to a copy, as it's online, remember?!)
* Friends all share the benefits of each other's experience.
* The method of chaotic backup can save on data transmission costs. For example, if it's agreed with the owner of a photo that it will be published, then it doesn't need "sending", as it's already there.
* Having other people's stuff on your machine may make your own data safer, especially if you're the kind of person who looks after other people's stuff more conscientiously than your own.
DOWN SIDES OF CHAOTIC BACKUP:
* The method can't be used for secret personal data which you want to guarantee isn't seen by anyone else. Even if you trust your friends, you can't be 100% sure their machines are safe from intrusion. So, for anything totally secret, you've got to find another method.
* The backup copies on your friends' machines will be likely to be a bit out of date, even if you meet quite often.
* Chaotic Backup isn't a total solution to data backup and prevention of data loss, so it's best to have other provision for such eventualities too. Also see look ahead data problem prevention
It may be possible to keep mid-level secret information on each-other's machines by the method of encryption of files. This would then mean that each person's machine would have a set of encoded files which they couldn't read but were a valid backup of other people's data. This isn't a perfect solution, as the temptation to try to crack the files just for fun would be high. However, the ubiquitous existence of numerous encrypted files on machines all over the place would help to stop the government from finding out what we are really up to (if we are up to anything, and they will never know), especially if some actual RANDOM files were included. (Random files appear as if they are real indecipherable secret files, and so are very expensive for a secret service to deal with, as they will never crack them).
Additional resources: Hard Disc Drive, Data Recovery Companies, Kroll Ontrack Data Recovery Service, ESS Data Recovery, Palmer Data Recovery, Xytron Data Recovery, Insurance, Computers
Extra Note: This page has been written by Zyra, who is a paranoid. References to "the government", or "THEY", or "the enemy" etc are to do with having beliefs of persecution. It's accepted that not all governments in the world are as bad as the assumption suggested on this page. For more about the background to this, see Domicile
Also note, I am talking about friends, as in actual friends who are mutually good for each-other, not the ridiculous debasement of the word "friends" by such deplorable places as Facebook