More Anti Digital

I’ve been trying to persuade someone (anyone) to make one of these for the last 20 years

Something to de-digitize music. I’ve never liked digital music – never liked CD. Subliminally harsh in my opinion. With analogue I feel like being in the room, with CD (or any other digital) it sounds harsh and embarrassing and I want to turn it down.

So at last someone’s invented this.

God damn that guy is irritating. Why is he holding the cup like that? Why is he sitting cross-legged on the floor? (I’ve tried it. 10mins sitting cross-legged = 1/2 hour walking like a crab afterwards) I bet he sleeps on a futon. I’m so out of touch I don’t even know what sub-culture that is any more. He’s like a human version of the sort of books people casually leave on their coffee tables when they’re trying to sell the house.

Still, I backed it, because he’s right basically.

About 4 years ago I wrote this site-scraper/feed-reader to pull in feeds from all the sites I’m interested in, and display them like Opera displays RSS (precursor to the pinterest type layout). Occasionally one of the sites changes their code and they go off the radar for a bit.

Kickstarter is one of these. I fixed it, and I’ve suddenly had about 2 months of kickstarter (tech/design) stuff in one go.

And I’ve kindof come to the conclusion that kickstarter is more interesting than all the other sites put together. It’s kindof design-fiction you can buy. Maybe. A type of crowd-guided science-fiction for optimists (no good science fiction is optimistic).

I’m not sure if the interestingness of it is due to some sort of natural-selection process… whereby things that people are actually willing to pay for float to the top – or good guidance on the part of kickstart staff, or I just like this stuff because I’m a tech-geek. In terms of inventing new products though, it absolutely PISSES all over traditional corporate new-product-creation – although there is increasingly an overlap. The vast majority of kickstarter projects are now coming from established (small) companies.

There’s currently 4 VR/AR type projects:

All of which are pretty cool in their own disparate ways – and although Occulus Rift was like, forever ago, and it still hasn’t really happened yet, and Google Glass was forever ago, and they’ve put it on ice, and it didn’t actually happen either – it’s hard to imagine that this is not a tidal-wave headed this way. It looks really interesting and really fun and exciting.

And what do all of these have in common?

They shut out the world.

Personally, I’m starting to go in the other direction. I want more world. I’ve been an emotional fortress for the last 11 years – a total paranoid recluse, and a lot of that is because I’ve substituted digital for real. I’m doing it now. It’s a beautiful summer evening in New Zealand – Saturday night… and I’m sat inside, in front of a screen.

There was a pre-warning of this when I was 16. I met my first computer:


My dad was a school-teacher, so I got to take the school computer home in the holidays. I spent two whole summers sitting in a darkened room writing video games. My summer holidays as a 15yr old and a 16yr old disappeared into code and pixels, and I ain’t ever getting them back.

I think something similar happened to about 10 years in my 30s and 40s. And I don’t think it’s good. It made me a living for a decade or two… but it’s a poor substitute for actual reality.

Trouble is, it’s addictive – and there’s a natural-selective process driving the addictive power of the content… particularly with porn… and porn is not a substitute for sex, it’s a substitute for cocaine.

Watch this space.

4 Comments » for More Anti Digital
  1. Steve says:

    “He’s like a human version of the sort of books people casually leave on their coffee tables when they’re trying to sell the house.” HAHA

  2. J says:

    The guy in the video is trying to emulate Steve Jobs on this picture:

  3. Nick Taylor says:

    Oh god, thank heavens for that.

    I feel kindof guilty now for saying such terrible things etc. Mind you, I did give him money.

  4. J says:

    Don’t feel guilty, even though his project is cool I also find him irritating… at least he didn’t try to imitate Jony Ive’s accent and the background sound didn’t feature an ukulele :D