Friday, April 29, 2011

Apologia


http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/04/memento-mori.html

3 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more, Ryan. I think I have made the point on at least one post that I have still-working Blicks, some 118-years-old, on which the inkpads still have ink, so I can still type with them - anywhere (no need for a power outlet). I am willing to bet a Blick that there is no computer printer made on which anyone will still be able to print in 2129 using the ORIGINAL CARTRIDGE. My Remington 2, 133-years-old, still works beautifully. Beat that, modern technology! Surely the point in the old versus new debate is what will last, what is durable, environmentally safe, and will remain reliable for a century or more. Using any technology that lasts just a few years, and then is dumped, must definite it as inferior.

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  2. When mechanical devices proliferated, they were used in a singular way by more disciplined slices of society. We respect machines because of what they give us in return: time, utility, recreation. A 500Gb hard drive can certainly hold a lot of stuff (mostly stuff we can do without, let's face it). But then we need to buy another one, as back-up. And worry about it breaking, or worse, becoming incompatible in the future - anyone got a 5.25" floppy drive?. You just don't have that kind of worry with a machine you can fix and keep on fixing. I'd say that a typewriter, far from being a momento mori, is better described as a future-proof personal communication platform. We don't need to wait until that's proved - Doctorow's on story bears it out. And the "quality" observation might equally describe quality of the maker's intent as of that of material construction.

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  3. The producer of one of the ABC Radio programs which interviewed on the Mumbai imbroglio contacted me the next morning to say a Trojan virus had attacked her computer and she had lost two years' worth of scripts. Where's the 500Gb of stuff now? Gone! "Where's my typewriter?" she cried.

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