The things you own end up owning you.
You’ve probably heard that quote before (Fight Club anyone?) or seen this skit by George Carlin.
I really try not to own too much stuff. But it’s not easy. For example, I simply can’t get rid of the hundreds of BMX magazines I collected since 1994, even though I don’t read them anymore. I also have quite the collection of videogames that I rarely play.
Or this. People born before the noughties have gone through a couple of technological changes. When I was little, I still had black & white tv. Ok, maybe that’s due to my parents taking time to adopt color tv (1968… I mean, come on!). Now we have HD broadcasting and 4k tv sets. Video storage medias have also evolved. I still have a dozen VHS cassettes, a couple dozens DVDs and some Blu-ray discs. I kept a VHS player and made sure that I could still hook it up to my current tv set. Which is somewhat dumb because you can find digitized copies on the web (mostly BMX videos) and I also made digital copies myself. My PS3 plays DVDs and Blu-ray discs. It actually is the only DVD player I have, since laptops have gone driveless.
The situation with audio storage medias is even crazier. Vinyls were more or less gone when I was a kid. We had cassettes and big-ass walkmen. I remember that our Mom forbade us to fast-forward or rewind our cassettes because it would use batteries too much. One of her many questionable rules. Anyway. When I was a teenager and, like any teenager, got interested in music, CDs were the thing. I still have about 150 of them. At CHF 30 a piece, that’s a considerable fortune for a teenager. Discmen were crap though, even with skip protection. That’s why I kept rocking a walkman until I got my iPod. At first MP3s could only be played on your computer because there weren’t any small or affordable pocket players around. Of course I ripped all my CDs, and even some of my cassettes. Imagine the audio quality. I remember when I was in my freshman year at EPFL I had a 56k dialup connection and it usually took me the whole night to download one MP3. Kids today don’t realize how lucky they are.
Why do I keep all that stuff that’s basically become useless? Nostalgia? Pride? Lack of trust in the future evolution of technology?