Everything Old Is New David Sax’s ‘The Revenge of Analog’
other hand, the one thing that your digital camera can’t do is take photos on physical film. And if that’s what you want, then you’re going to use an analog film camera. The companies Sax examines are bringing the past into the present. And they’re using digital tech — including crowdfunding and the latest social media marketing — to sell analog products. Sax puts it best. “Reality is multicolored,” he writes. “It smells funny and tastes weird … and the best ideas emerge from that complexity, which remains beyond the capability of digital technology to fully appreciate.” “The Revenge of Analog” is a must-read for anyone trying to understand one of the most powerful consumer trends today. It also has solid advice for tapping into the trend via marketing to make analog fever work in your favor.
Why are kids who are too young to remember cassettes obsessed with vinyl? Why are magazines thriving in the digital world? Why do “real things” matter? These are the questions that drove David Sax to research the recent resurgence of analog technology — a project that led to his superb new book, “The Revenge of Analog.” Sax begins by acknowledging that digital technology, from iPhones to MP3s, has changed how we live. “But,” he writes, “digital’s gain was not without sacrifice.” He saw this sacrifice early on, at a dinner party that fizzled when everyone was more interested in their phones than each other. Enter “analog,” defined simply as “the opposite of digital.” Instead of 1s and 0s, analog has physical presence. Instead of hitting a button to send information to an iPod, which then sends information to your speakers, you set a needle into a groove on a record — and let simple physics do the rest. Many analog devices don’t require electricity, never mind the internet. A mechanical typewriter is analog. Your laptop is decidedly not. And here’s the twist: Analog is more popular than ever. Sax describes walking down the street in the middle of the digital age and finding thriving analog businesses like film photography, handmade watches, fountain pens — the list goes on. Sax takes a look at all these industries and more in this book, concluding that the analog-digital dichotomy is not a question of replacement. Yes, you can now do everything your old camera can do with a digital one. On the
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• In 2013, a man named Darren Baldwin was let go from his job at a stress-ball factory. His reaction? Punching his boss in the face. • A dentist named William J. Morrison invented cotton candy in 1897. It was originally called “fairy floss.”
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