Last week, Stuart and I were talking about strategies for backing up the early episodes of Scriptnotes in case of fire or other calamity.
And then I remembered we effectively had. We shipped several hundred of the Scriptnotes USB drives, each loaded with the first 100 episodes of the show in both mp3 and m4a format.
Even if LA got nuked, listeners in Prague and Peoria would be able to share these files. Craig and I actually talked about it in Episode 103:
John: So, again, if a nuclear apocalypse happens and we’re all wiped out — or maybe zombies, it could be anything that actually wipes out all of humanity and our ability to access the internet — if you had one of these little drives and some sort of computer that was capable of reading them, like a laptop that you’re powering through some sort of pedal bicycle in a kind of Gilligan’s Island scenario, you would still be able to listen to [Scriptnotes]. And be able to follow along on the Three Page Challenge, which is I think really important as you’re rebuilding civilization. You have access to not just our words of advice but the words on the page that you can see why we were giving the notes we were giving about these Three Page Challenges.
Craig: I don’t know where it would fall on the hierarchy of goals, but it would probably be between procuring food and medicine.
We’re making another batch of the Scriptnotes USB drives if you’d like to buy one.
I truly believe in storing important things at other people’s houses. A good example is photos. We had all of my dad’s old photos scanned, then bought a bunch of cheap hard drives so we could give the whole set to relatives. It’s a kind of legacy insurance.
Google isn’t helping me find the exact quote, but in the age before refrigeration they used to say the best place to store food is in your neighbor’s stomach. If you have more than you need, throw a feast.
Podcasts aren’t parties and photos aren’t food, but sharing these assets is similarly communal — and mutually-beneficial. Often, the best backup strategy is giving it away.