Physical digital media kindle iphone

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  1. The physical objects we collect are fetters which tie our psychological state to the realm of the real. When I look at the raw RL space they occupy part of me wants to translate them all digitally so I never have to carry another box of records which has all the personality of an obstinate child, with carry handles gradually cutting into my hands.

    What you’re writing about is the reason that I haven’t junked my hardcopy. Without them your life is like that of a digital ghost, your thoughts and drives locked away behind an encrypted wall that becomes impenetrable upon passing. I’m all for ephemeralisation, but only if it gives us the same or similar tangible benefits as the items it replaces.

    1. Hey,

      It is a tremendous thing for us old folk to hold a device the size of a credit card containing a library of everything we ever read and listen to, indeed, more than we could ever manage if we did nothing else. It would be good if it was possible somehow for my kids to browse all this digitally and freely as I did with my dad’s stuff, but when ownership becomes licensing and gifts can’t be inscribed, I agree we do lose something. When I go to people’s homes, and they have a bookshelf, I am drawn to the spines, and conversation inevitably ensues :) I didn’t have to ask them if I could see what books they own, that would be a bit creepy and intrusive.

      Sadly, a lot of my own books are in an attic awaiting a decent sized living space to put them out, but I’d love one day to see one of my kids sat in an armchair flicking through an old sci-fi novel :)

      Comics are more problematic though aren’t they? Hard to display them without it looking like a mini comics store!

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