black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             
Why you want your old iPod back. And that typewriter. And an Etch A Sketch. And…
“There is a complicated type of nostalgia for old renditions of future things, the best example of which I saw several years ago, in a modest house in Shanghai. The owners had installed a glass cabinet in which mobile-phone handsets going back 20 years were arranged as ornaments – great bricks of black plastic with their antennas protruding, surrounded by artfully arranged fake flowers. It was surprisingly moving.
Mr and Mrs Zhen were not trying to be fashionable with this display – or rather, they may well have been aiming for that effect, but they weren’t doing it to subvert the idea of bourgeois display-case values. The fascination with old technology is a well-documented trope of hipster style, signaling authenticity, hilarity and, of course, bloody-minded perversity, but there are more genuine affections for bits of old tech that do not come with ironic window dressing or obvious research or typewriters in a newsroom.
Part of this nostalgia is a straightforward yearning for the days when tech didn’t get more complicated that the on/off button and maybe an alarm clock. We live in a world in which the Apple store runs classes on how to use your telephone, so simplicity can seem like a good thing: owning a device that is not, nor will forever remain, nine-tenths mysterious to you.”
"Texas Instruments, which is still selling millions of clunky calculators, was on to something with Speak & Spell, so reassuring in its three colors and three settings that it was nothing if not an early version of the iPad. I bought an Etch A Sketch for a toddler the other day and nearly cried.
You can, of course, buy replica Speak & Spells now, as well as t-shirts with the image of one imprinted upon it. New technology has been harnessed to realize the desire for old tech, so that you can attach an old manual typewriter, via USB cable, to a modern computer screen – something that only exists, surely, to be commented on rather than used.
Other gimmicks include Hanx Writer, Tom Hanks’s typewriting app, which turns your iPad into something with the clacks and hammer strokes of an old manual typewriter. There’s probably an equivalent in the App Store for vinyl records, and even the unloved cassette tape is far enough back in time now to be having its moment; a friend of mine has an oil painting – an oil painting! – of an old mix tape with handwritten songs on the jacket hanging framed above the bed on his wall.”
“I have in a drawer a first-generation iPod, recently deceased, which seemed at the time like a scary item from the future and is now frightening for other reasons, to do with the most acute version of nostalgia – not simply for things past, but for things past that were premised on un-jaded visions of the future. It’s about hope or innocence, or one of those things it doesn’t do anyone any good to dwell on.
And yet I can’t quite bring myself to throw it away.”

Why you want your old iPod back. And that typewriter. And an Etch A Sketch. And…

There is a complicated type of nostalgia for old renditions of future things, the best example of which I saw several years ago, in a modest house in Shanghai. The owners had installed a glass cabinet in which mobile-phone handsets going back 20 years were arranged as ornaments – great bricks of black plastic with their antennas protruding, surrounded by artfully arranged fake flowers. It was surprisingly moving.

Mr and Mrs Zhen were not trying to be fashionable with this display – or rather, they may well have been aiming for that effect, but they weren’t doing it to subvert the idea of bourgeois display-case values. The fascination with old technology is a well-documented trope of hipster style, signaling authenticity, hilarity and, of course, bloody-minded perversity, but there are more genuine affections for bits of old tech that do not come with ironic window dressing or obvious research or typewriters in a newsroom.

Part of this nostalgia is a straightforward yearning for the days when tech didn’t get more complicated that the on/off button and maybe an alarm clock. We live in a world in which the Apple store runs classes on how to use your telephone, so simplicity can seem like a good thing: owning a device that is not, nor will forever remain, nine-tenths mysterious to you.”

"Texas Instruments, which is still selling millions of clunky calculators, was on to something with Speak & Spell, so reassuring in its three colors and three settings that it was nothing if not an early version of the iPad. I bought an Etch A Sketch for a toddler the other day and nearly cried.

You can, of course, buy replica Speak & Spells now, as well as t-shirts with the image of one imprinted upon it. New technology has been harnessed to realize the desire for old tech, so that you can attach an old manual typewriter, via USB cable, to a modern computer screen – something that only exists, surely, to be commented on rather than used.

Other gimmicks include Hanx Writer, Tom Hanks’s typewriting app, which turns your iPad into something with the clacks and hammer strokes of an old manual typewriter. There’s probably an equivalent in the App Store for vinyl records, and even the unloved cassette tape is far enough back in time now to be having its moment; a friend of mine has an oil painting – an oil painting! – of an old mix tape with handwritten songs on the jacket hanging framed above the bed on his wall.”

I have in a drawer a first-generation iPod, recently deceased, which seemed at the time like a scary item from the future and is now frightening for other reasons, to do with the most acute version of nostalgia – not simply for things past, but for things past that were premised on un-jaded visions of the future. It’s about hope or innocence, or one of those things it doesn’t do anyone any good to dwell on.

And yet I can’t quite bring myself to throw it away.”

“The sunflower crop is anywhere from 6 to 7 feet tall and has a large canopy of leaves…It’s very difficult to see, down below, what’s going on…with a drone, you could fly over, get a much better visual of what’s really happening.”

"Who else could use a drone? Anybody who deals with one of what Mike Toscano calls “the Four D’s: The dirty, difficult, dangerous and dull jobs that human beings are faced with.”

Toscano runs the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems— a drone trade group— which last year released a study claiming drones could add $27 million a day to the U.S. economy.”

Hollywood wants to use drones, as do florists, farmers, beer producers, and a whole lotta others

©2011 Kateoplis