Thursday, 2 February 2017

Retro tech...

It’s good to be back in the north, even though it doesn’t feel quite as much like home as it used to. I overheard two women chatting in a charity shop: “Don’t let me buy ‘owt", said one. "I’ve only come out for some fresh air”…

Interesting article in the Guardian today, by Simon Jenkins, prompted by the resurgence of vinyl records, ‘real’ books over e-readers and the re-introduction of Kodak’s Ektachrome film. “References to the internet are now dominated by hackers, viruses, trolls, paedophiles, fake news and cyberwar”, he writes. “I am told most job openings for IT graduates are in gaming, betting and in protecting computers from each other”. He’s also told, by photographers, that “pictures printed from film are superior to digitised ones”, which suggests he hasn’t spoken to enough photographers.

I try to be online once or twice each day - to read and write emails, check picture sales, upload and keyword pix, update this blog, etc. But I’m happy not to have internet access 24/7. It would be very distracting; I wouldn’t get much writing done. I watch people interacting with their phones - rather than each other - and it’s not a pretty sight. I got rid of my smartphone, and don’t miss it. I got fed up with it beeping at me, tugging at my sleeve like some needy child, demanding my attention.

My internet use is limited too: the Guardian for news, BBC for sport, The Onion for humour, Amazon for books to download onto my Kindle (I read ‘printed’ books, but I’m never without my e-reader), Youtube for videos of Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens, etc, and a handful of other sites I regularly visit. And where would I be, for fact-checking, without Google and Wikipedia?

I don’t know if the current interest in ‘retro’ tech is more than a passing fad, and Simon Jenkins doesn’t know either…


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