And that is the substance, so to speak, of Klosterman’s (author of "The Nineties") relentless cataloging and Aksel’s (a character in "The Worst Person in the World" comedy series) lamentation for lost record stores. The digitization of culture — the abstraction of all those beautiful things into streams and algorithms — feels to many of us like a permanent loss. What kind of a loss can be hard to specify, since there is also clearly a benefit. In the old days, Aksel might not have been able to watch “Dog Day Afternoon” over and over again. He might have had to wait until it showed up at a revival house, or until the previous customer returned the only VHS copy to the video store. Now he can stream “Back to Dungaree High” on a playlist with his other favorites. Klosterman can watch any episode of “Seinfeld” or “The Simpsons” any time he wants.
Monday, March 07, 2022
A feeling of loss in the abstraction of all those beautiful things into streams and algorithms...
I pass on a single paragraph from A.O.Scott's recent essay "Shelf Life: Our Collections and the Passage of Time" and suggest you read the whole piece, an engaging illustrated commentary on generational and cultural change: