Evanesence of digital media

Was wondering about the permanence of the writing in the blog.  Was wondering about the wisdom of shifting from pen and paper to digital media.

Apparently, one of the Pharoahs was concerned about the effect the  introduction of writing would have on the ancient science and art of mnemonics.  Of course, in hindsight he was correct.  Mnemonics is today virtually nonexistent except for the ones in math (May I have a large (small) container of coffee please?  Life is a supermartingale, as time increases, expectations decrease.)  Perhaps writing will go the same way-people will, in the future, only know how to type, and will have forgotten paper making and the art of calligraphy.  Then, only those with access to computers and the internet will have a reliable memory.  The rest will live in the present.  Talk about the digital divide!


4 Responses to “Evanesence of digital media”

  1. HyperActiveX Says:

    Interesting points to ponder. My 2 cents – we add things as we go along, and must learn not to subtract. Digital should add to the range of media we’ve used and continue to use, and not replace any of the old. Subtraction, if and when it happens, happens because of irrelevance rather than obsolescence. To paraphrase an old phrase .. it is about survival of the relevant. Then again, catastrophes can always take us back to the ways of the past …. when old and perhaps extinct arts and practices will be revived and adapted to the present.

    P.S. on a personal note – nice to see your blog!

  2. sxray Says:


    Nice moniker!

    Nice comment. I learned.

    “The old order changeth, yielding place to the new” or words to that effect. What is “relevant” is a function of the “context” or “environment.” That environment does not “fall from the sky” but is the result of a large number of micro acts of a large number of individuals acting in an environment created by a small number of policy makers. The Fed (off the top of my head) is one such policy maker. The choice of going in the “technological” direction is just that-a wilful choice. I can easily visualize a society, an economy, that did not make this choice. Many instances exist in history of just such pretechnological societies which enjoyed a high quality of life. (Or rather, where some people enjoyed a high quality of life.)

    And then there is the business of tradeoffs. Choosing one way, means losing another.

    But your point is well taken. For instance, we would not have been able to have this conversation, but for digital technology. This conversation with an abstract individual (albeit with a clever handle), I now deem GOOD.

  3. sxray Says:


    mnemonics might not be quite as dead as it seems. Even today, the Vedas in India are taught as musical chants and memorized. Unfortunately, I was not brought up in that tradition.

    Thanks for your comment.

  4. HyperActiveX Says:

    Most welcome!

    The evolution of music, literature and the arts is another example. New forms, new styles, new sounds add cumulatively to the history of art. We still carry old stuff, though not all of it – only that which remains ‘relevant’ to us today, i.e. there exists a mass of people (of not insignificant size) that can still relate to, still like, and still find joy in certain (but not all) artifacts though they may be hundreds of years old.

    As to the quality of life – we seem to be re-defining that as we go along. Life today is far more frenetic (among other things) and hence, according to earlier frames of reference, not as good. But few of use would trade this for that, because our contemporary zeitgeist compels us to have a frame of reference that values this (current, frenetic) over that (old, peaceful).

    I am not making a value judgment here – just an observation. In terms of personal preference, I would prefer ‘slow’, as you may have observed as an emergent theme in other stuff I’ve posted. Not only do we not stand and stare – but also, we don’t fully enjoy what we have, not to mention the fact that we don’t even fully leverage the potential of what we have, before coming up with new stuff. Like fine gourmet food that is being gobbled up or fine wine that is being gulped like it was a tequila shooter.

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