Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
"One of the great losses of the Information Age is texture. Consider the pre-computer desk: a litter of papers, large and small, handwritten, printed and typed, course and fine; letters in varying hands, envelopes of various sizes bearing stamps from all over the world. Here are books, annotated and bookmarked; here is a typewriter with its ribbon and its heavy steel frame. Here are photographs and drawings, coins and banknotes, documents bearing seals and counter-signatures, pristine originals and faded carbon copies... Papers lie in piles, navigable vertically according to what has been most recently consulted; some are turned sideways-on to mark the stack.
"Now consider today's equivalent. All is stored on the network and accessed via mouse-clicks on a clean glowing screen. Everything is the same: an image seen through glass. We touch nothing, mark nothing, smell nothing. In the new world of I.T., it is not just the desktop that is a metaphor: everything is a metaphor, where nothing yellows with age and everything is clean and new. We are become creatures of sight alone, our whole attention focused on a hundred and fifty square inches of expensive glass.
"We have lost something in the process. Not just texture. Something more. The computer makes everything retrievable; but it doesn't retrieve everything. Only the surface. Scratch the surface and - look! - more surface. The rest is lost."
From Michael Bywater's Lost Worlds: What Have We Lost, & Where Did it Go?