Data loss is an utterly idiotic trauma leaving you feeling like you've forgotten the name of a friend and thus to avoid the possible embarrassment you never speak to them again.

Software can be re-installed. Hardware can be replaced. But the most important things have no prices attached to them and once they're gone, they are gone forever.

"Data" really seems like too small a word for the things that makes life worth living, or perhaps the scope is too great; What I had for breakfast this morning is objectively as much data as the complete anthology of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, but the latter is much subtler and considerably more difficult to reproduce from memory.

Then again, breakfast is the most important meal.

Information cannot be destroyed, but it -will- be forgotten. Seemingly trivial details or works slip through the cracks, while time, translation and the heresy of paraphrase ensure that though contemporary interpretations of information may endure, the information itself is lost three print runs ago. (Is it enough to write "5" as a shorthand when what you really mean is "2+3="?)

The death of knowledge guarantees a cyclic nature of time until there is no one left to know anything.