Brave New World

Brave New World

The news from Borders is another harbinger that retail life as many know it is continuing to evolve, and not necessarily for the better.

Mass retailers of music already have learned this the hard way – music is no longer bought in dedicated “record” stores anymore.  They have gone the way of the Dodo.

Book stores are threatened by Amazon and devices like the Kindle.

Newspapers and magazines are dying because of the internet and syndicated news feeds being everywhere at once.

Movies, at least as they are enjoyed at dedicated movie theaters, are staving off the tide – for now – with digital technologies, reviving 3-D, and re-purposing their venues for online meetings and broadcast events.  Whether they will succeed long term is hard to say.

Communal experiences like going to a record store, browsing through a favorite book shop, having an ** affordable ** evening at the movies – all of these things are going away.

Is it a good thing?  Who’s to say.  It just ** is **.

The nearer term impact is that these industries represent local jobs, and affect areas such as real estate (leases on these businesses) and restaurants (where these people eat on their breaks).

We are becoming a land of abandoned malls and dead town centers.  We are fast becoming stranded in exurbs too remote to be economically practical for commuting and further removed from the common shared experiences of transacting business with our neighbors.

I miss browsing for my music on a Saturday afternoon.  Pretty soon, it looks like I’ll miss going to the book store, too.

Am I a Luddite?  Hardly.

But I do wonder if we’ll all be better off, socially and economically, at least on a local scale.  I don’t think we will.

One thought on “Brave New World

  1. I am a EMS Helicopter pilot and and flight examiner. I always have tons of things to memorize, from emergency procedures to limitations to rules and regulations. I know people/students in other occupations and situations such as school, have things that require memorization. What would be great is a little program which would allow me to type in my own information on a blank flash card so that I could load them in my Ipod touch. Subject title on one side and information or definition on the other. Now some emergency procedures are fairly long so a scrollable side would be great in case the answer is too long for the card space. Then I could just flick my finger across it to see the read the whole thing.


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