Analog vs. Digital – Alison McClintock

One thing that caught my attention in the article is how it talked about the demise of Kodak being not only an economic tragedy, but a tragedy of cultural life as well. When hearing about things going out of business or becoming obsolete, I never really considered the economic downturn it would lead to, I was always more focused on how sad it was that it would no longer be a part of our culture.

When Hostess went out of business, all of America was freaking out and making a big deal out of it. I personally don’t eat their products very often and did not really care. However, when Kodak went out of business, I didn’t hear anyone ( with the exception of the article of course) talking about it. I have to wonder what kind of country we live in where everyone sheds a tear for Twinkies but could care less about creative analog processes.

I have always been the last to embrace new technology, the “grandma” of my generation. I hold on to the old ways for as long as possible and reject new technologies. I don’t really know why I do this, maybe I have no real need for new technology, or maybe I just can’t just shake off my nostalgia for older ones.

I have always been fascinated with older, more primitive lifestyles, thinking them better than modern society, for example Native Americans. I think their way of life was so much more wholesome, in tune with nature, and free, among many other things. I enjoy stories like ‘Walden’ and ‘Into the Wild’ where people abandon the comforts of technology and opt for a naturalistic self reliant lifestyle. I have a lot of respect and admiration for people who live that way.

Ultimately, I have a much higher opinion and preference of analog versus digital processes. There are a few exceptions, for example medicine, where new technologies win my heart, but for the most part I think that analog processes inspire creativity, self reliance, thoughtfulness, and even intelligence. Nowadays, well done handmade objects have a lot more value and are more sought after than machine made ones. I think that new technologies will cause a lot of problems for the younger generation. How can anyone learn spelling properly when auto-correct automatically corrects you and finishes words for you? Analog processes require skill and I consider them to be a craft, a fine art, while digital processes provide shortcuts and take the easy way, while quality and standards of quality plummet.

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One thought on “Analog vs. Digital – Alison McClintock

  1. nice analysis and writing in relation to the article- I especially enjoy how you compared obsolescent systems ( from a large range of areas..economics, food industries, “artistic” processes..etc) with your personal relationship to the materials vanishing… the twinkie reference was particularly poignant. i suppose the bailout of an american staple.. (one that is a phallic shaped mess of bright fluff and sugar) does resonate in regards to the larger social discussions of health, food deserts, and a lost generation of factory workers. Perhaps Kodak (also in a yellow package) doesn’t offer the same bite…
    I am very curious to hear more on your thoughts about “primitive lifestyles…” can you investigate a “primitive” lifestyle now- is that possible? what does it look like? Also, is the yearning for a “simpler life” related to mitigated nostalgia and privilege, or is it indicative of the current state of affairs in relation to anxiety and inter-connectedness? You may like this book

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0312427905/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=2463919491&ref=pd_sl_61xkib4o3n_b

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