Has anyone ever seen a “futurist” presentation, or an advertisement to go and see one? Futurists talk about what things will be like in the future and how cool it will be to be alive when you can fly your car to work.
I attended a Futurist presentation about 3 years ago and they told me that soon data measured in Terabytes would be stored on the back of an amoeba in some kind of holographic storage medium and that we could use our amoeba USB thumb drive to carry our life around in a compact form.
I was like – “yeah – whatever”… but then yesterday I was walking through Perth and saw an amoeba walking down the street with a smirk on his face and a tiny backpack filled with data. My first thought, “smug little amoeba”, second thought – “how did that futurist know”, and lastly, “I need to stop drinking”.
Today I got up and thought, I can predict the future with almost 1000% certainty, I am going to be a futurist. (and at that very moment – I had made my first accurate prediction; I was chuffed). After all I am a little old to do Planking and my wife tells me it’s dangerous – being a futurist still makes me sounds cool to my kids.
What follows are my predictions for data storage and data formats for the oil and gas and mining. Predictions make you a futurist – even if they are incorrect.
Current Issue - Seismic data will continue to be gathered in massive quantities and it will need something to store it that is easy to access, has longevity and is cheap.
Prediction – Magnetic tape has a long life ahead of it. You will see a magnetic tape being developed for at least another 20 years. And it will have 3 letters emblazoned on the side of it – IBM.
Current Issue – Magnetic tape is a real pain in the butt to use.
Prediction – Magnetic tape will continue to be the storage medium of choice for long term archive. Go get one of those doughnut ring thingy’s to sit on.
Current Issue – The formats used to record well logs are far too complex and completely unnecessary.
Prediction – Geophysicists and Geologists will continue to “enhance” the data formats used by industry for logging, and will skip this part of my article. Flip the doughnut ring over and use the other side.
Potential Field Data - Magnetics
Current Issue - I don’t have a very solid background in Magnetics, other than that if I wear my Harley Davidson Belt Buckle through airport security something beeps. But I have been told that Magnetics are very useful and colourful to look at – especially in 3D.
Prediction - I will continue to not have a very solid background in Magnetics, AND, airport security are going to want me to put my amoeba thumb drive into a tray with my belt when I pass though. Oh– AND someone will realize that my prediction above was not a prediction at all, just a statement of fact.
Seismic Navigation Data
Current Issue – Navigation and positional data – not just for Seismic, but other data types –is considered a separate type of data even though it is useless without the seismic, and the seismic is useless without the navigation.
Prediction (actually more of a dream really) – Seismic acquisition and processingcontractorswill start to populate the seismic recording formats they create correctly, and include navigation in the data so that no one ever has to merge navigation with seismic ever again.
I think the truth of the matter is that as we try and create faster and better machines and formats, we always also create a past that has no place in the present. This then creates disdain for the past, and as achievable as it may be, a hunger for that future state that can never be achieved.
Being a futurist is easy. You look at the problems of today, decide whether a commercial solution is viable and Bammm…..you can be pretty much guaranteed of predicting the future with 100% accuracy. You don’t even need to come up with THE solution – just the fact that someone, somewhere and sometime will. After all, the “future” is a very long piece of string.