Knowledge is actually hard to lose nowadays

A Point of View: Why didn't Harry Potter just use Google?
In a world that is overwhelmed with ways of accessing information, we must decide what to remember and what to forget, says historian Lisa Jardine.

The danger today is rather that we are reluctant to let go of any information garnered from however recondite a source. Every historian knows that no narrative will be intelligible to a reader if it includes all the detail the author amassed in the course of their research. A clear thread has to be teased from the mass of available evidence, to focus, direct and ultimately give meaning to what has been assembled for analysis. Daring to discard is as crucial as safe-guarding, for effective knowledge management and transmission today.

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Technology and lost knowledge

And if you need to once again locate a source you found but did not use in your paper 20 years ago, you can just stick your 5 1/4-inch diskette in your computer and pull it up on WordPerfect.

Oh wait, we don't have the technology to do that. Some programs have even gone so far as to chainge their Save icon since noone uses even a 3 1/2-inch diskette. Even CDs and DVDs are starting to disappear

We no longer have the technology to read the original data from the NASA Viking probes -- what else have we lost?

Some have called this the Loss of Information Age.

Slightly different issue

Those examples (another being the BBC Doomsday Project) merely show that those involved, or interested groups, need to transfer from one medium to another when the original media becomes useless.
We did this for floppies, we did this for cd's and we will do this into 3D holographic chips in the future ;)
The problem isn't so much not being able to look at the old media, it's that we keep the old media instead of copying it over.

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