I always turn last access timestamps off, for performance, and frankly for privacy. But Windows and Linux both seem to have them as a feature enabled by default, so I suppose there must be some use for them.
For what specific purpose were access timestamps invented, and then considered useful enough to warrant inclusion in operating system kernels and filesystems? Are they still useful today, or just historical cruft?
"Primarily opinion-based", yeah right. Where did I ask for anyone's opinion? I'm interested in real-world examples of applications where they are used, or historical justifications/discussions from when they were added in the first place, or lack thereof if indeed they are useless. I guess for some people, looking for reasons to close questions feels like an accomplishment, without involving any real effort.