Friday, March 24, 2017

"The Revenge of Analog"

From The Art of Manliness, March 23:

Podcast #289: The Revenge of Analog
“Software is eating the world,” or so we’re told. Products that once took up physical space can be contained in our smartphones and held in the palms of our hands. Instead of having a record collection, now we can stream any music any where and any time we want. Instead of shelves and shelves of books, we can have access to thousands of volumes in our Kindle app. Instead of stacks of photo albums, we can store a virtually unlimited collection of pictures in the digital cloud. 

But in the cultural background to this digital shift, there’s been a silent rebellion brewing. 
My guest tracks that rebellion in his book, The Revenge of Analog. Today on the show, David Sax and I talk about why we’re seeing a return to analog products like vinyl records, hardcopy books, and pen and paper — and it’s not because of nostalgia. David goes into detail about the sudden revival of vinyl and turntables and why it’s more than just some hipster fad, why hardcopy book sales are going up while ebook sales are declining, and why writing with pen and paper unleashes creativity compared to typing or writing on a screen. He then gets into how the internet is counterintuitively driving this upsurge of interest in tangible products and the benefits we get psychologically, culturally, and economically by living in an analog world. 

Show Highlights

  • When it was that David noticed “real” stuff was making a comeback
  • Why “the old thing is rendered obsolete by the new thing” isn’t quite accurate
  • What is it that’s fueling the “revenge of the analog”?
  • How people are “maturing” with their technology use and finding ways to balance their tech use with tangible items
  • The irony of the internet helping drive the revenge of the analog

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