Ha ha! Hee hee… ahem.
Okay, the information of this century isn’t gonna last very long at all. Thousands of years ago you had people carving stuff into stone and making pottery and pyramids and things. They stuck around. Then paper came along, and that disintegrates, but if well kept lasts centuries itself. Todays media lasts/will last… decades, mostly.
Even if you avoid the problems of a certain company making apps that can’t open stuff saved with last year’s version, CDs themselves aren’t as good long term storage devices as some might think. Even the commercially pressed ones can have problems - I don’t have a cite, but a researcher somewhere had some disks where the media layer was flaking off, and found the substrate was “infected” with an aluminum eating bacteria or fungus or something. (Rare, but still)
CDRs and CDRWs are even worse, with some brands being unreadable within a year or two. (Can’t find that cite either :()
So now I have to be helpful - Good CDs are expected to last over 50 years if kept properly (some stats) The brand and manufacturing method matter a lot in this area. Try searching for life span “cd media” or the like.
You might be interested in the BBCs experiences with a long-term data storage project. The data was unusable within a decade, and was recently re-built with considerable effort. I’m assuming their current version will last a lot longer given what they’ve learned. - http://www.domesday.org.uk/
Other interesting links:
The NIST (National Institute of Standards and Tech.) wants to have specs for long-term CD and DVD media: http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=03/09/11/0351214&mode=nested&tid=137&tid=185&tid=198
I didn’t read much, so I’m not sure where they are on that, but it might be just what you’re looking for.
This conversation on media decay (not the one I was looking for, but anyhow) http://ask.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=00/01/22/1924250&mode=nested&tid=126