As a Maître Jaques, I amateurishly dabble in many fields, but have not the skill to bountifully harvest from any of them. But even a simpleton such as I can see that we will be an enigma to future generations, who might see the ruins of our great civilization, but have no surviving record of what we were capable of. Unlike the Egyptians, we don’t leave much of our record in stone. Unlike the Greeks and Romans, we don’t even leave it in paper anymore. We’re more like the Atlanteans (they did exist didn’t they???). What other ancient civilizations existed that we have no record of because they chose to store their records to “advanced”, and fragile, means of storage. ?
As much as I claim to be a luddite and technoclast in many regards, this particular comic calls my bluff with regards to communication. While I do occasionally write and send letters for the anachronism of the action, I more often scribe a quick email with all its informality. There are multiple reasons for this, but it boils down to the speed at which a response can be obtained. While email is not realtime, it is very nearly realtime in some instances.
It is amusing that the dire predictions from over one hundred forty years ago have not came completely to pass, but many aspects are true.
Kodak Failing, But Camera Phones Not To Blame: An anonymous reader writes with this snippet from The Conversation: “According to the Wall Street Journal, camera manufacturer Kodak is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, following a long struggle to maintain any sort of viable business. The announcement has prompted some commentators to claim that Kodak’s near-demise has been brought on by: a failure to innovate, or a failure to anticipate the shift from analogue to digital cameras, or a failure to compete with the rise of cameras in mobile phones. Actually, none of these claims are true. Where Kodak did fail is in not understanding what people take photographs for, and what they do with photos once they have taken them.”
Continues the reader: “Looking at camera data from Flickr, of images uploaded in 2011, camera phones only make up 3% of the total. Dedicated cameras from Canon, Nikon and yes, Kodak were used to take 97% of the images. What Kodak failed to understand is that people have switched from taking photos for remembering and commemorative reasons to using photos for identity and communication. The shift changes the emphasis away from print to social media platforms and dedicated apps.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
I think of people who invested in 8 tracks in the 70’s. How do they listen to that music now? They re-buy it as MP3s or whatnot. We cannot repurchase lost memories. And unfortunately, we might not be able to take analog photos and have them printed for many more years. Taking photos on film already is, from my layman’s perspective, been relegated to niche status. Once the means to easily develop film goes away, then the ability to retain those memories for generations will be as elusive as a family photograph in the 1860s (Hyperbole? I don’t mean it to be.). The difference being that back then, there was limited means of taking a photograph at all. Now there is ample means of taking a photograph, but limited medium on which to permanently record it.