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December 11, 2006 1:49 PM
Posted by Tricia Duryee
When you cover technology for a living, it's easy to get wrapped up in the newest, and almost always better, devices and products hitting store shelves.
But this story in the Washington Post today reminded me that the old way of doing things may perhaps have been better, or at least a better experience for the senses.
Paul Farhi, a Post staff writer, tests this notion regarding the closure of Tower Records, which is finally succumbing to the Internet.
And isn't that better? Doesn't the digital universe give anyone with a computer and a credit card wider and speedier access to more music than any Tower could ever stock? Isn't it better when you never have to find a parking space or deal with one of those haughty, green-haired clerks who always gave your Beach Boys and show-tune selections a look that said, "Wow, you are such a geezer"?
No, it isn't. Not exactly.
Farhi writes that something is lost when you go online. When you go to the store, you fight for parking, you can physically sift through shelves of options and you can smell the people next to you.
That made me wonder. What other things has technology replaced for the worse? Maybe that's a bit harsh, but technology may have sterilized other experiences as well?
Were telephones better when they had cords and didn't leave the house? Does solving a calculus problem on paper feel better than punching numbers into a computer?
What do you think?