Digital Worries

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David Weinberger talks gives a history of computers in Everything is Miscellaneous. Before computers were very ubiquitous,”, he writes, people were very worried that digitizing too much data would turn their lives into the office version of factory workers – and it was dehumanizing and alienating. He reason everyone is so obsessed with social media, is because it is the final blow in the process of making computers very sociable. It is interesting in the face of how alienating we thought it was going to be.

In the same way, people were worried that the radio might replace the porch as a place for conversation. They felt that people would never go to concerts anymore because they might pipe everything into their rooms instead. But they overlooked the face that the resolution of experience was degraded when piped through a singular, one dimensional source. In realizing this, the radio made concerts that much more enjoyable. Concerts are the full resolution of experience. Decompressed, live music, amplified by enormous speakers.