Friday, November 25, 2011

Technology marches on

The other day I responded to a Facebook post from a friend.  He was commenting on the lose of the local Blockbuster video store.  Several people thought it was a shame but I pointed out that once the Internet began to provide all type of media: books, music, and video, to name three, the lose of physical stores selling these items is inevitable.

Software is a prime example of this.  I used to frequently software store often and joke that I loved the smell of new software coming out of the box.  These days most software is purchased online and I never see physical media.

This has become true of music too.  I just read an article online about the death of the CD.  And I can't remember the last time I purchased a physical CD from a store.

Borders -- the physical bookstore -- closed this year because the same trends are affecting books too.  So it is not really a surprise -- or at least it shouldn't be -- that video stores are disappearing.  Newsstands are also threatened because I can get many of magazines online now.

In fact, given the ability to research information on the Internet, I'm wondering how long it will be before financially-strapped towns will close their libraries because the function is redundant.  And that's not all. The Internet provides the function once the exclusive province of TV.  Are TV stations at risk?  And with social media, will people stop going to night clubs and live vicariously through the computer screen.

It sounds like a bad science fiction story doesn't it?  But I'm finding that at the years click by in the 21st century that what used to be considered fiction is becoming fact.

Back in the middle of the 20th century, the perceived threat to freedom was Big Brother and government.  I think technology might just trump that if we are not careful.

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