posted on Sep, 24 2021 @ 06:05 AM
I used 'meaningful' instead of 'concretical', but I was a bit torn.
I am thinking about very solid things, like 'card catalogs' of the olden times. Anyone remember those? They used to have them as a 'matter of
fact' in libraries and other places that had vast amounts of information, whether books, music, movies, etc.
Now, I know that computers are very convenient. You type something in google, you get links, you can even use wikipedia and searchwords and whatnot. I
don't think anyone in their right mind would want to go back to the olden ways and lose this quick, fast convenience - including me. I absolutely
love how I can finally research efficiently, find answers to my mind's neverending questions (my family hated me because I wouldn't stop asking
questions constantly (that they had no answers to), and I got very frustrated with that) . The intenet, archive.org, virtual things, street view in
maps, it's all more valuable than its weight in gold. Absolutely wonderful technology.
However, the point I am trying to make here, is that there was also value in the old system. It was a different kind of value, though. The modern time
fits the busy businessman perfectly. The olden system fits a free entity with lots of free time and who likes to tinker with things and enjoys the
feel of those old cards. They were fun to browse through, it was like a small adventure to open and close physical drawers to find that one, precious
treasure-card you're looking for. It was waiting for you somewhere in the dark caverns of the drawers, and you were closing in.. closing in..
browsing cards, seeing possibly all kinds of interesting names, topics, book names you would otherwise never heard of or known about, and perhaps are
now inspired to check out some of them.
When your greedy hands finally, after lots of browsing, found the exact card you were looking for, you could almost swear some sort of fanfare was
playing as you lifted the card high above your head and declared victory over the card catalogue's cunning ways of hiding things!
Now you just type something and get the information.
It's just not the same. Where's the adventure, where's the tactile feel, where's the deep satisfaction, when you take that prize of your effort to
go try find the actual book it's pointing to, and this way, double your win?
We're losing this kind of 'tactile adventure' in the world. Everything is becoming 'touchscreens', which seems and sounds cool, until you realize
it has no tactile feel. I don't want to drive a car that has only a 'flat surface' to operate EVERYTHING from. I WANT to turn knobs, dagnabit! I
want to push buttons and adjust things by 'feel' with my fingers - I want to touch and get tactile feedback, I want to drag and turn, flick and
click and pivot around, I want to twirl my fingers around a row of buttons to find the exact right one by feel and memory. I want to grab something
and push or pull it, adjust things by hand and fingers.
I don't want to just slide my finger on some dirty glass, unfeeling canvas of nothing, just to feel nothing and do everything by eye, visually,
waiting for the slow screen update to finish doing its thing before the computer crashes. I want to just adjust five different knobs, levers, buttons
and switches in one second, because I know exactly what I am doing, not browse 20 different, slow menus just to get to the right options and then
click wrong and have to start all over.
We're losing what our fingers and hands enjoy doing and were meant for - we're losing the 'concrete' things in favor of 'virtual' or 'digital'
Phone book was a cumbersome, heavy thing, but that was humorously useful for many purposes. Without a physical phone book, you basically have nothing
but just pure information. Even a robot from the future enjoys sliding their synthetic finger on its smooth surface until it finds the name. Flicking
those thin and fragile pages was always fun. With a physical book, you can instantly be at any page you want anyway, and it doesn't even need
It can't be long until we won't have physical books anymore. We are too busy for books, we just need the text, the information.
But there's something about holding a book, looking at it, reading from it, turning its pages, smelling the ink and paper, closing it just to open it
again later and continuing where you left off - which can be a small adventure in itself to figure out sometimes.
I don't particularly miss records or even CDs or DVDs, but there's something more tangible, something more real when you can just physically put
something somewhere, and then something happens.
Our basics are crumbling, disappearing, and soon they will ALL be lost forever, and we can't get them back. We still use words like 'rewind' or
'fast forward', although we don't use audio or VCR tapes anymore. We still use the symbolism and the words, without anything concrete or meaningful
to connect them to. We talk about 'films' or 'filming', even when talking about digital cameras and projectors. Even phones don't look like
phones anymore. They look like .. 'rectangles', instead of something meaningful with a personality.
You can do fewer things with a rotary phone or any old enough a phone. However, you can't slam the receiver, as Seinfeld once mentioned, because
there is no receiver. People don't even remember the word 'receiver' (watch the 'Kids React to Rotary Phones' and be shocked as even the most
knowledgeable of them all calls the receiver 'a phone'!) anymore. There was something more tactile, more meaningful, more interesting, when you
could hold the phone like it's a hard, solid object, not some fragile glass surface without feel, and then slam it with the passion of a thousand
raging suns. Now you just push some virtual button to end a phone call. How exciting.
I am not saying these changes are completely bad, or that this advanced tech isn't marvellous (it is).
I am simply pointing out to the things we consider obsolete, and how we don't see the value of the things that soon will disappear forever.
Someone needs to rant the last praise for those old-world things that people only soon know from pictures, videos and memes.
Can anyone remember a world before 'memes' existed? What a beautiful, tactile world that was. Sure, it was slow, cumbersome, inconvenient. But
there's something to be said about inconvenience - if you disagree, what are those Zen monks doing sweeping the floor so slowly? There's a point to
it. They're not just old and fragile, they could sweep much faster, but their sweeping is slow deliberately, and for a reason.
Maybe the world has become too fast-paced, or maybe 'busy people' have made it too fast-paced, so now everyone has to be a 'busy-people'.
I just think there's something valuable lost when we can't browse card catalogs anymore, can't slam a receiver so the phone rings a bit and the
table shakes, can't touch knobs, switches, levers or buttons and learn to do things by feel anymore. Goodbye, browsing a hard-cover paper book at my
leisure. Good bye researching something from an encyclopedia or dictionary book, and being inspired to read about a plethora of various topics just by
the virtue of accidentally bumping into them while trying to find something else. Good bye all that tactical fun and joy, and daily little adventures
in the library.
Hello, super convenient, fast 'pure information' and fully digital world. Just kill me..