Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Digital World Kills Cultural Snobbery or Keen Connoisseurship

Wonderfully written article about the digitisation of mass media, and how this has affected our sense of self and inhibited our ability distinguish ourselves from others.

And here I was contemplating an embargo on books since purchased books just end up collecting dust and occupying precious space. 5 days of reading pleasure for years and years of storage/dust pain. That equates to a very small marginal utility

BUT ...

Alas, not only do books "furnish a room, to paraphrase the title of an Anthony Powell novel, but also accessorize our outfits. They help brand our identities. At the rate technology is progressing, however, we may eventually be traipsing around culturally nude in an urban rain forest, androids seamlessly integrated".

My embargo may actually lead to a human apocalypse a la Terminator!

The last paragraph is defining ...
"As all this space opens up—as the tokens of our cultural snobbery or keen connoisseurship (take your pick, depending on the degree of pretentious wankery you attribute to others) recede into the hideaway shelves and flash drives—what will refill it? “After two decades of defining ourselves in terms of our possessions,” Holly Brubach wrote recently in T: The New York Times Style Magazine, “we now need to figure out who we would be without them.” I suspect that once this downturn plateaus and shrinks in the rearview mirror, we’ll just stock up on other possessions, which will be arrayed and arranged to show off not our personal aesthetics or expensive whims but our ethics—our progressive virtues. A place where we could play host to Barack and Michelle and feel assured they’d find nothing amiss."

Lucky I already have Barack Obama's autobiography.