Saturday, November 14, 2009

It Was The Transistor, Stupid

I’ve been revisiting my opinions about a recent, particularly massive cultural-technological shift, the shift from analog to digital storage of information. It’s a dark picture.

Not just hippie rock-and-rollers complaining about “cold” CD’s replacing “warm” analog delivery systems; not just weird privacy aberrations like the NSA preserving for all time every single communication in the world; not just the difficulty of controlling the image captured by a computerized digital camera that thinks for itself; not just watching classic films that have been beautified by colorization and sanitized by the removal of all cigarette smoking. Although these examples illustrate how annoying the new digital world is, they don’t scratch the surface of the problem.

Digital has made a mockery of copyright. Digital has rendered art itself a lost dream of permanence. Digital has enhanced the power of governments and corporations to criminalize simple, innocent acts by everyday, law abiding citizens. Modernity cannot be resisted, and technological progress cannot be stopped, but more must be done to insure that personal freedoms are protected, and that the very culture of the world is not completely subjugated to government paranoia and corporate greed.

This is a huge issue, raised here in passing fashion. Did it ring any bells out there? Maybe I’m just getting old and cranky, but there needs to be a dialog about this.

It all started with the transistor.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your just getting old and cranky.