Go Analog

Posted on 01/03/2019 in misc

Om Malik, who has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers, wrote a post about slowing down and scaling down in life.

He makes a few good points that you should go read, but I want to expand further on one point - go analog. I think I've been doing this recently but I didn't have a name for it. I'm using "Go analog" as a concept here. Don't take it literally. I'm not going back to vinyl.

  • The try streaming music experiment has pretty much already failed in a week. When faced with picking from 14 million songs to listen to I basically freeze from indecision. I'm much happier with my 500 album collection, which I almost always listen to mostly like I did as a teenager - one full album at a time.

  • I read the online edition of the local newspaper. Not the website, but actual images of the pages of the paper, which flip like you are reading the real paper, and that actually come to an end every day. They don't scroll to infinity like a news website. Reading the paper is a finite act that takes about 15 minutes most days. The main reason I don't just have a real paper delivered is the waste. I hate seeing all that paper passing through the house and into the recycling stream.

  • I've been printing out the Soduku puzzle from the same paper a lot of days and completing it with a pencil.

  • I store my recipes as pdf files on my local PC - I'm not using an app. Yeah, it's not really analog, but it's more analog than an app. I have discreet recipes in a folder, not 2 million possibilities in a search box.

  • I've never signed up for Kindle unlimited or whatever. I buy e-books, download them, strip the DRM, and read them. I also still buy used books on occasion when the weird book market prices make them less expensive than a digital version.

  • I haven't bought anything (other than maybe two e-books) from Amazon in about 5 weeks. I've started making a point of visiting local stores, even if they are big box retailers, and even if it costs a little more. It's still a physical store with a defined inventory employing my neighbors. And so far, it generally doesn't cost more. The appreciation I feel from the employees at Fountain Bookstore makes me happy to shop there. In fact, I've ordered a used Kobo e-reader specifically so I can buy e-books via their affiliate program and support them even when I'm not buying physical books from them.

  • Live music is still one of my favorite pastimes, and I intend to spend more time supporting local music in person in 2019.

  • Richmond has plenty of museums, art galleries, etc. and we have visited some of them. We will do more of that this year too. Of course, Kickers and Flying Squirrels season is not that far away. Hopefully the weather will be more conducive to live outdoor sporting events this year.

I think the thread that connects all this together, and really what "go analog" means to me, is that all these activities have an end. My MP3 collection may be digital files but they are digital representations of analog concepts, and Iron Maiden "Number of the Beast" takes the same time to listen to as a digital album, cassette tape, CD, or record album. It's not Pandora endlessly throwing music at me. Same idea with the newspaper, or being out in the analog world doing stuff. There is usually a beginning and end to the activity, versus Facebook or Twitter which you literally never reach an end of. Live sporting events end, Fortnite never does.

Or maybe I'm just old.

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