Thursday, April 01, 2010

Letters, Books And Tapes

Letterfu and Map Envelope are two lovely ideas on the theme of writing a real letter. Map Envelope in particular brings the power of internet technology to bear on an activity that pre-dated it for centuries - that of sending a postcard from one's travels. As easy as it is for people to create online albums of several hundred pictures from their vacation, it is still a pleasure to receive a physical postcard, with a foreign postmark and stamp.

The last one I got was from my friend D a few years ago when she and her husband visited Puerto Rico and I still have it. Among other things, it tells you they took the trouble when they could just as easily have sent an email. Anyone who has written and received actual letters, is likely to have a collection of tapes - mixed and otherwise. Creative Barn has neat way to put them to good use.

Even fifty years ago, a person's entire childhood could comprise of less then ten photographs and their entire collection of music a couple of dozen LPs. The act of enjoying memory captured in a picture seems to reduce in inverse proportion to the ease of clicking and sharing the pictures.

The same is probably true of music. There is so much to listen to and so effortlessly, the pleasure of listening to great music is signficantly reduced. Used to be that talk of music converged around favorite artists and bands but these days it is hard to get a group of people who are listening to the same things. Everyone has their niche which are often isolated from each other. Seeing technology converge with things of nostalgic value makes me hopeful that we may yet return to a simpler way of life.

But there is the opposing force of bringing technology into the simplest joys of life - such as reading a book.Reading this articleon what the iPad may mean for the printed book and the way we read - specially how children may read in the future prompted me to comment:

The last place of peace and quiet minus ubiquitous connectivity was the printed book. I love the Internet and spend most of my waking hours onor around it but I love my unconnected time even more. If the prognosis on what the iPad means for books is right, that may soon be a thing of the past - something like the iPad could define connectivity fatigue for folks like myself.

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