Perhaps it would have also seemed silly to try to save many the scrolls from the destruction of the Library of Alexandria
. No doubt many of those covered mundane details of ordinary life -- land transactions, farming methods, political deals. Certainly it would not be apparent to those who lived at that time that such trivia would hold any interest even a few years later, let alone centuries hence.
But it does. And there is no way for us to know, in 2015, whether or not the manual for a Tektronix 545 oscilloscope (circa 1955) will be of interest to anyone in 2055. But we should know that if we let all the copies disappear, that the question will be moot: we'll have removed the possibility...and thus the possibility of whatever insight could be gained.
I stood in that room and held that manual in my hands yesterday. Then I put it in one of the many (many!) boxes headed for storage, against the day when it can be pulled out and scanned. Perhaps I'll be the last person to ever glance through it; or perhaps, sometime in the future, someone else will come across it and say a silent thank-you to those responsible for preserving it from oblivion.
This is part of our history -- encapsulated in voltage meters and PROM programmers, broadcast amplifiers and 68000 development boards. It is not disposable. It is not expendable. And so if you'll excuse me, I'm going to head over there and get back to work.