Day: October 23, 2017

The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter

I recently finished David Sax’s new book The Revenge of Analog:  Real Things and Why They Matter.  Appropriately, I bought my hard-back copy in that most analog of places—Portland, Oregon’s Powell’s City of Books—the nation’s largest independent bookstore. Sax, a business journalist from Canada, posits that “while digital technology has certainly made life easier, the analog technologies of old can make life more rich and substantial.”  He argues that in today’s digital world, analog is making a surprising comeback.  What are those analog technologies?  Notebooks and paper.  Vinyl records.  Film.  Board games.  (Vintage Game Night at the Woodrow Wilson House, anyone?) He also looks at the comeback of analog “ideas” in areas such as printing, retailing, and education. Some of Sax’s examples strike me as first-world games of the highly educated. However, as I thought about the tactile nature of the pages as I read, I realized that he had an important point about the impact of real things in our lives. About two years ago I stopped purchasing e-books and have returned to buying …