Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Dying of the Light

The plea for keeping paper journals.

Computers. They are the very thing that makes our world roll, swoop, and at times, crash. Our dependence on these marching wonders of silicon is every increasing. Have you ever stop to think about how the cell phone in your hand is often times more powerful and carries more storage capacity than many of the home computers made until about the early 1990's? Just marvel how you can now have thousands of books at a press of the button, and carry them on something that a quarter would dwarf. Have you ever access to the Internet and all of it's contents in the palm or your hand with out a single wire in sight??

For a fun little walk down memory lane, who remembers 5 1/4 floppies, hard drive who's capacity was measured in megabytes, BBS boards you would have to know the phone number access, or modems that where running around on 15.5 bauds. An amazing time. I have a diary that I kept on 5 1/4 drive, I'm sure that my grand kids will one day read through it and...

Oh, wait a fucking minute. Damn.

No one today uses a floppy drive, so why would kids in two generations even know what one looks like? Let alone know that what's it for. We're screwd. No problem you say, just store it on a CD. Sure, that will be good. Until" THE "next format comes out, then what? Flash drives?? USB's format is changing as we speak. And, let's not even start taking about operating systems or file formats. All that we are using today will be outdated in 10 years time. Don't believe me? Go rent a movie called HACKER's. It has Angelina Jolie topless in it. Got your attention? What I want you to look at are the computers they are using, and the way they gathering information. Now, think about this: the movie came out 15 years ago. Holy shit. I don't' even want to know what I'll think of this Macbook in another 15 years. Paper weight anyone??

We are at a time in history where our storage of events is so very volatile it often keeps me up at night. Information can be lost so easily, it's scary. As we as a species have progressed through time, our recording of events has become more and more fragile. I mean, in some flung future, if an archaeologist found a hard drive, what would be the odds that any data would still be on it?? Hell, let alone 40 years from know.In today's world, there really is only one format that will still be usable, instantly recognizable, and will still wear the passage of time: a well made book. This is part of the reason I work so hard at keeping a journal, both in my everyday life and and when I'm traveling. I make sure that the paper is acid neutral ( well, most of the time), and the same with the ink that I use. I want what I write to stand up to the wear of life and father time.

There is something, Magical about handling a book. When you read some-one's words, their thoughts, there is a connection in the very act of you holding that book, flipping through the pages. You become, the more you think about it, aware of the writer also handling those very same pages, witting their thoughts so that they would stretch across the ravages of time. For me, it almost feels that the very effort of writing down those thoughts brings purpose to those pages, and somehow they are now more than the sum of their parts.

Image if you would, finding a journal of one or your great-grand parents coming to America, or crossing the great planes in the a covered wagon. Reading what they saw, thought and hoped. It almost allows you to bridge that gap in history and for a moment, be there. Not to mention clearing up any family myths. *lol*

We're losing so much to computers: content is being generated in an exponential way never seen before in history. And being lost. The world could come crashing down with but a single power surge. Do your decadents a favor; leave your view of life tucked away in paper. The book doesn't have to be written in every day. And don't' worry about it being petty.

For wonderful blank journals, stop by here or here. The important thing is just to start, and write what's on your mind, and give those thoughts a solid perch to stand up to the chaos of life. The peace of mind is amazing

PS yes, it's ironic that I write this on a blog. Sue me ;-)

No comments:

Post a Comment