As I get older, I find myself yearning for a simpler, less complicated life. It doesn’t feel like that long ago when I couldn’t quite understand the phrase “they don’t make them like they used to,” but lately, I find myself echoing that sentiment over and over. Several weeks back my wife and I stepped foot inside an antique store and as we walked out (nearly two hours later) we were both surprised at the nostalgia and sadness we felt. So much has been lost for the sake of advancement and technology — and I’m afraid that the price we will ultimately pay will be too high.
But, I am not alone in my thoughts. Robert Levine wrote a great piece for Rolling Stones magazine about “The Death of High Fidelity” which I found fascinating. All too often it seems like great sacrifices are made for the sake of money — and it is never worth it. It is no secret that the record industry is failing. Studios, execs, artists, distribution channels, and now, technology companies (think iPod) — are slowly (but surely) destroying the very industry they profess to protect.
Perhaps my favorite quote of the article is:
“With all the technical innovation, music sounds worse,” says Steely Dan’s Donald Fagen, who has made what are considered some of the best-sounding records of all time. “God is in the details. But there are no details anymore.”
I believe this statement can be applied to almost anything technology touches these days. The more I get tethered to a computer for my day-to-day work, the more I realize that my life is ruled by the technology — not the other way around. To illustrate my point, my office (like the vast majority of companies out there) has a local area network (LAN) that we all connect to to get to our files. On those days that our connections are lost, our entire office shuts down. Without the internet connection, we can receive no emails or publish our files — or GET to our files for that matter. So what’s left? Well…playing with the Nerf guns is always an option.
So back to my rant here: With all the so-called technical advancements we’re actually making our lives that much more difficult.