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Download Overload…

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal describes what they are calling “The Music Comeback of 2014: Vinyl Records”.   In this past year there were 8 million of these platters produced and there could have been more if the aging equipment had been capable of making more.  How can this be?   Can’t we just get the same result with a quick  “download”?  

beachIn another article in the Seattle Times, authors are upset that the Amazon service that now offers access to 700,000 electronic books for $9.99 per month is destroying their ability to earn a decent income.  Given that most of us are hard pressed to read even one book a week, this would translate to over 13,000 years of reading material for each of us. 

In the same vein, we measure the success of a smart phone by how many “Apps” it can download.  Anything less than 100,000 is considered inferior.  How long would it take for even a cursory overview of all these possible choices?

Industry trade publications have by and large given up on print and changed over to electronic publishing.  Presumably this is a cheaper way to deliver information.  However,  we are now overwhelmed with multiple e-mails each day that are structured to force us to look at ads that are inserted for maximum interference with the articles we may wish to read. 

Each day Facebook sends me names of people I have never heard of insisting that they should be my “friends” -- or at the very least I should try to be theirs.  

Are we finally reaching a saturation point?  How many more “downloads” can we absorb?  For me the limit was reached quite some time ago.   Therefore, when I see an article that talks about information in tangible and selectable formats like a Vinyl Platter, a CD, a printed magazine, or a book that I can put on my shelf, it gives me hope that we will not be forever lost in Information Space.  

For many thousands of years, we have cherished certain possessions as dear to us.  They provided us with tangible ongoing reminders of the knowledge that they held.  I still have many of my physics, EE, and math textbooks from college and graduate school.  And on many occasions I have found it useful to refer back to the information they contain.  Had these books been on a computer drive they would have long ago been deleted and forgotten. 

It is wonderful to have Google for information searches and I am not suggesting that we revert back to the 50s or 60s.  However, it is my hope that over time we will be able to find a better balance between quantity and quality as well as where and in what format our most important information resides.  Perhaps this hints at an opportunity for a new business model for how to deliver information in useful doses that don’t overwhelm us.  

As I write this column, I am listening to a Dvorak symphony on a CD that I  have in my personal music library.  Having this tangible disk to play whenever I so desire is convenient and it is “mine”.   I don’t need to “download” or “subscribe”.  Once purchased, it is my precious possession for however long I wish to keep it and use it. 

Next time that you are trying to read an article in an electronic industry publication that is spread over many pages (screens) that need to be accessed one at a time with ads stuck in between, think back to the days when these same publications came in a print version.  Then, we could read them at a pace that we chose and look at whatever we wanted to see rather than having to get past what was being pushed at us. 

Should you have thoughts on how best to handle all the information that is inundating us, you may contact me directly from this site, by e-mail at silzars@attglobal.net, or by phone at 425-898-9117.   Perhaps 2015 will be a year of insight and transition to make our Information Society lives somewhat less hectic.             

 

19916 NE 30th Ct. Sammamish, WA 98074 Call 425.898.9117 FAX 425.898.1727 Email

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