Google Continues Quest to Index All Atoms
Google has begun digitizing old newspapers, making certain old Onion stories a bit less funny.
I hope it goes without saying that I love technology, but…at the same time, there’s something I used to find infinitely more gratifying about having to use card catalogs, paper indexes, and microfiche. That romantic nostalgia makes me keep my diaries in Moleskines and sketchbooks, causes me to allow piles of books to keep refuge in my apartment, strikes fear into my heart when I see the disturbingly named Kindle, and explains why I may own cutting-edge computers, but can’t give up my fountain pens. As much as technology buys you speed, it costs you personality, until the only concrete objects you interact with do little more than reify equations and thoughts into some transient form you can ingest and vomit out at a later date. When you can acquire information with no effort, its value disintegrates. Sometimes, I worry that this yielding to an ephemeral reality, not a loss of privacy, is the price we pay by having Google around.
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