Man Talk- The joys of an Imperfect World



Are we getting bored with technology? If what we were asking Santa for last Christmas is anything to go by, we are more interested in our Lo tech past than our Hi tech futures.


Are we getting bored with technology? If what we were asking Santa for last Christmas is anything to go by I think we just might. Instead of going HI we've gone LO tech, that is.  Forget about investing in the future we appear to be more interested in buying up the past.

How many of us have an 'E Reader ' it was supposed to be the environmental saviour of the planet, no more chopping down trees they said, we will be reading our books in digital form from now on, and so it was...At first, those little book sized tablets that held hundreds of novels between its covers were much in demand. Until people began to realise just how boring, and soulless, these little plastic tablets were. People missed the talking point of seeing an interesting book cover and then striking up a conversation. 'Any good?' The Kindle and it's alternatives denies people the pleasure of discovering their next good read. The prediction that that the E reader would be the death knell of the book shop has been a little bit premature, and we've rediscovered our love of browsing through book filled aisles once again. I got two proper books for Christmas and I love them.

The CD is another example of our growing rejection of this brave new world. When those shiny unbreakable discs landed The vinyl record was almost consigned to the dustbin of life. With its scratch proof sound enhanced features, this was the future no more scratchy sticking 45's The CD was going to be the way we would listen to our music. No more having to change the speeds to 33 when you put on an LP. Those big cumbersome record players were replaced by sleek pocket size compact music players. We thought it doesn't get better than this, and then it did, when we got digital. The IPod had arrived. Smaller again but the number of songs you could store went through the roof. The vinyl record could never compete with the technical perfection of an IPod. And yet despite all its faults we missed the scratchy rasp of needle on vinyl.

Turns out we enjoy imperfection and we went back to black like never before. The number of vinyl records we are buying keeps breaking records so to speak. Along with the turntables and speakers to
Play them on .

Then there is the camera again it was digitised and simplified. Now anyone with a mobile phone can take high quality auto focused photographs. And store them in their thousands on our mobile phones. But we still missed the old ways.

Their is something about a proper camera, the skill in setting up of the shot, choosing the lighting and the correct shutter speed. We still wanted to rediscover the forgotten art of capturing the moment for ourselves then perfecting the skill of developing and printing.

The book the record the camera. All have been given shiny makeovers that have improved them beyond imagination. And yet we are not satisfied, we like a bit of imperfection a touch of the not so perfect. We still want the dog eared novel the jumping record, and the photo with the heads cut of.

The future might be hi-tech and artificial. But will we ever allow it to replace the past? I some how doubt it.

After all who wants a clever clogs piece of hardware that never fails. Who always beats you at chess. We don't want the smart arse phrase of choice from geeks. 'it learns' unlike humans who never do. We still like a little bit of shabby uncertainty in our lives. Some of us still want the challenge of fixing or making stuff. Maybe that's why baking is so popular. You might say we want our cake and to eat it. We want the shiny future as long as we can still have a bit of the dusty old past.


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