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Tuesday, Feb 16, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Nicholas Carr
Britannica (25 January 2010)

“Tim Bray, the software writer and self-professed “sicko deranged audiophile,” is getting rid of his jewel cases. He’s been ripping his large collection of CDs into digital files and tweaking his hifi setup to play music off hard drives rather than disks. “I can’t wait to shovel the disks into boxes or binders or whatever, and regain a few square feet of wall,” he says. I’m with him there. The CD jewel case is the single worst technology ever invented by man. It defines, in a truly Platonic sense, the term “piece of crap.”


Now, Bray is looking forward to the fast-approaching day when he’ll also be able to get rid of his many books, leaving his walls even emptier. Their contents, too, will be digitized, turned into files that can be displayed on a handy e-book reader like Amazon’s Kindle. He writes: “I’ve long felt a conscious glow when surrounded by book-lined walls; for many years my vision of ideal peace included them, along with a comfy chair and music in the air. But as I age I’ve started to feel increasingly crowded by possessions in general and media artifacts in particular.” Physical books, he says, “are toast,” and that’s “a good thing.””


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