Hi everyone. I just fought my way into the Post building on 15th Street -- there is a huge mob out there wanting to buy copies of today's paper as a souvenir. Somehow they are not content to stand at the window and gaze admiringly on our new flat screens in the lobby showing our WaPo Media family of web sites.I don't know what Hank Stuever looks like, but I'm picturing this:
Seriously, you could probably get a few bucks for your copy, if you're done with it, if you are cool enough to read the actual paper. Of course, some hipster who looks like Mac Guy could go out there and suggest to this crowd that they could just bookmark a web page and save it for posterity! On their 3g iPhone! If so, I hope they pummel him to death.
And I'm assuming he writes out letters to loved ones longhand, because if he's emailing and IM-ing, they're just going to have a digital file-folder on some cold, sad hard drive.
IN THE COMMENTS: Pogo writes:
Several years ago I was reading about researchers and archivists who were worried about the lack of permanence embedded in modern technology.
Things written with pencil and paper last a really long time. We auction off the original manuscript scroll for Jack Kerouac's 'On The Road' and search for copies of a first edition novel, signed.
Historians have discovered to their horror that electroinc data fades quickly, or becomes impossible to use because the hardware that created it no longer exists. Floppy discs, for example.
The tyranny of the modern affects voting in real time as well. Paper ballots can be scrutinized. Electronic ones fail to be recorded, are easily manipulated, and can be erased in a flash.
High tech communication is alot like writing in sand on the beach.
I am no luddite, but my conservative philosophy extends even here. Mocking letters to loved ones written in longhand betrays the hubris of the modern, who do not see how evanescent they have become, how easily they disappear, like so many electrons.
I have some cold, sad hard drives that died and cannot be read. What they contained is now forever lost. So, too IMs and e-mails.
Similarly, with one small error by some Google techie, this blog can disappear completely and irretrievably.
It's one thing to believe that building your house on a rock means it will last forever, but quite another to build it on sand, thinking it makes no difference at all, that the house on the rock is just for laughable squares in cheap and ill-fitting suits.