In another thread, now closed, somebody was saying something about how ones and zeros on a disk are nothing but another form of writing, like words on paper.

I wanted to expand on that a bit. Certain factions today seem to be of the opinion that digital data is ephemeral, not concrete and that that somehow makes things recorded digitally of less substance than those recorded physically.

They say that a work recorded in writing (print, etc.) is permanent and that is what gives it value. That reminds me of the palimpsest. A long time ago, before the advent of cheap mass produced pulp paper written works were recorded on parchment or vellum. Since parchment and vellum are expensive, difficult to produce, and highly durable it was common practice to re-use these materials by washing or scraping off the old ink and writing over it.

Ephemeral data? How is this any different than data on a hard drive?

And in both cases the data is often recoverable by employing forensic technology.