Sentenced: Revenge of the Analog by David Sax
In this culture, like other developed cultures, technology is seen as an unadulterated good,” he said. “The presumption is that the technology will improve one’s life, in whatever it is.”
Even in a non-fiction book you come across sentences like this one that just make my imagination race. There are so many ideas compresses into these two sentences, all of which leave me grasping for pen and paper. The quote being from a book about the resurrection of (or premature call of death for) various analog technologies, and not only how, but delving into the why they making it, so of course that would necessitate writing any idea out in a fresh Moleskine notebook, using a hand-whittled pencil, with charcoal lead made out of my and my families own waste (poo-cils?), or not. Or that might be too authentic.
There is a lot I don’t find completely compelling about the author’s conclusions, and some of his examples stretched his thesis pretty thin, and I really question the idea of authenticity over utility as being the driving force behind many of the success stories, but the book was a fascinating look at a number of analog technologies that on the surface should not be successful, but as you dig into them further, there is something, not always the same something, but something that makes the technology less compelling for many people then the old analog version.
But, that sentence above, is one that just makes so many compelling ideas start to pop, is technology shaped by cultures, or vice-versa? Is “developed” in reference to technology or something other sort of social or political structure, and can you have one without the other? What if technology can only improve one’s life? What if it can only not improve one’s life?