ningerbil (ningerbil) wrote in 50bookchallenge,

Book 31- The Revenge of Analog, by David Sax

31. The Revenge of Analog, by David Sax. A lot of food for thought is packed into these pages. I wasn't sure what to make of the book at first, especially with the first chapters dealing with the reemergence of vinyl records and hardcopy books. I knew there was a niche market for vinyl that has emerged in recent years, although I didn't know the market was as large as it was. Many points about the benefits of analog, or really about balancing the real world with the digital world, I've read before, although Sax's points about why it's so easy to gain a monopoly in the technological realm and why it is hard to truly break into the field, and the shortcomings of digital (the shallow, non-immersive aspects) were things I never considered, particularly the former. In short, I have to agree with most of the author's points, and indeed have heard many of them voiced elsewhere. However, I am not sure I see a world where the interest and market for items such as vinyl records, physical books and film for movies and photography will be more than a passing phase. True, I myself prefer holding an actual book, and I have read a couple of books on my tablet. It's a long-entrenched habit. But I never quite understood the fascination with vinyl outside of nostalgia, and film versus digital images? Let's see- film uses toxic chemicals, needs a ton of space to process and if you screw up, it's tough to fix. Also, the shots you can get are extremely finite. I know the author brings up a point that finite choices are actually better, I can only agree with that to a certain degree. Digital, on the other hand, is easier to edit, you can check your shots right then and there, you can take hundreds, even thousands of pictures and the space required is your camera and your computer. And no toxic, smelly chemicals. I cannot ever imagine going back to costly, limiting film. Also, I've never heard of Moleskine so sorry, it's not that ubiquitous, and I just cannot fathom spending that much on a flippin' pad of paper. Yikes!

The takeaway I got though is that digital has a place, but the real world and physical also will always have a place. I agree with this, to a large degree (the vinyl and film issues notwithstanding). But another takeaway is that, reading between the lines I fear that analog copies are going to become the realm of the silver spoon set - those with the bankroll and space to keep those hardcovers, vinyl records and more. The serfs and peons will have to be content with a largely digital life due to technology's portability and cheapness. As wages continue to stagnate and jobs disappear in the post jobs economy, I think this next decade will be the last one where home ownership with a single family will be seen as the norm; you already see a trend with the 30-somethings eschewing homes for apartments and rentals. Micro-homes, apartments and self-driving RVs will become the abodes of choice as people are forced to move frequently for a paycheck and career opportunities. People forced to move frequently are not going to want to schlep around a lot of stuff. You already see this with Millenials deep-sixing Great-Aunt Edna's china cabinet and refusing to take grandma's antique silver table set. The younger generations are turning away from physical stuff that eats up precious room. Space will be a crucial commodity, carefully rationed and considered. So, again, I don't necessarily disagree with the author's points, and he has numbers and figures to back up this recent analog revolution. And, again, I've seen many of his points about digital versus analog, particularly in education and in Silicon Valley, elsewhere. I just believe that this revolution of tangible versus tech will be short-lived, one final hurrah before digital takes over. Sensible will outweigh sensibility for all but the got-bucks crowd, as it pretty much always has.

Currently reading: Mary McGrory: The First Queen of Journalism, by John Norris (almost done, I expect I'll be finished by the end of this coming week), and The Passion of Dolssa, by Julie Berry (about a third of the way through).
Tags: non-fiction, technology

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