Sunday, March 1, 2009

Obsolescence on a pedestal.

For the last few days I have been in California, looking at colleges with my 17-year-old daughter. The campi are wonderful and wireless. Streamlined and gigabyted with hordes of binary code bumping into you at all times.

And then you enter the library. Amid millions of analog volumes are scores of pcs and macs, dozens of printers and more. And then, off in a corner somewhere, or behind a column sits on a pedestal a twenty-pound dictionary.

A real-live dictionary with pages you can turn. With real-live dust because no one ever uses a real-live dictionary anymore.

I think about obsolescence because if you work in advertising you have clients who have never texted, who have hardly been online. If you type in Microsoft Word, words like texted and online and blog are highlighted because the English language changes faster than the dictionaries that are embedded within the programs we live by.

To me, it's amazing how relevant obsolescence has become.


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