What with instant access to forums, newsgroups, and various websites dedicated to certain minutia of information, it’s hard to say that it isn’t? But not since the Gutenberg Press has information been so freely available to the masses. It’s amazing what’s available via the Internet these days.
But as easily as that information is to retrieve, it’s as easily gone and forgotten. Got a good bookmark? Great. Just updated to the latest Apple iMac Pro stick-it-in-your-pocket-device? Too bad, bookmark gone. Sure you can search for the info. Oops! That website domain is no longer registered. Info forgotten. It’s a double-edged sword.
I’m the first to admit that the Internet is a wonderful thing. I am of the first generation who got to watch it really come into being, from BBSs to the latest forums, but there’s so much information that’s been swallowed up and lost, it makes you wonder if that’s what’s to become of our generation, yet alone our civilization.
Raise your hand if you own LPs. And by LPs, I mean records. Then it was cassettes. Then it was the compact disc. Now, it’s iTunes. A digital file that gets downloaded onto a hard drive that’s continually incompatible with the latest whose-it-gadget. Don’t believe me? Just try to hook up your external hard drive to your Nexus 7 Google handheld device.
The point is, without the printed word, how else would we communicate our love of all things classic trucks to that future generation?
The printed word is “ad infinitum.” Technology changes so fast that today a pdf becomes a tiff becomes a jpeg, and pretty soon our new machines don’t have the capacity to read some of the old files. Who wants a gif? Remember the Dewey Decimal System? I bet most kids in high school don’t.
I laugh when I get in a car that has a CD player, or better yet, a cassette deck; who has one of those?! Yet I still hang on to my cassettes, just like my parents hung onto their Beatles records; for the physical record. And now they’re collectible. But will iTunes “files” be collectible?
Perhaps it’s time to start inscribing our history in stone blocks again, or drawing hieroglyphics on our cave walls. The only problem is, my cave walls are covered in posters…