Side Effects of Change

As you may have realized, one of the things that interests me is how our society is changing, and how technology is changing society. This goes beyond little things like how technology has influenced the Microsoft Windows logo to larger questions. Today’s lunchtime news chum explores three such issues. Please read through to the end: the last is quite thought provoking:

  • Digital Projections. More and more movie theaters are moving to digital projection. An article in today’s SF Chronicle points out a side effect of this movement: it will be putting a lot of smaller screens out of business, as they can’t afford the new projectors. For example, all the older “art house” theaters will be unable to afford digital projectors, creating a divide between those with prints and those with disks. Further, the article notes that older projection equipment lasts for 25-30 years–do any of us believe that will be the same for the computerized systems?
  • Digital Cards. On the other hand, technology doesn’t appear to be killing the business card. The SF Chronicle also has an article on Bump and the various attempts to do away with business cards. Despite the attempts, business cards are hanging on. What are your thoughts on this? Do you find business cards valuable?
  • Outsourcing at Home. A thought provoking article on the Planet Money blog explores how we have outsourced home chores. As both men and women work, and the previous gender-based specializations have gone away, the home has been subject to outsourcing. We outsource sewing to factories in China. We outsource cooking to companies that produce heat-and-eat products. We outsource our gardening. We outsource our exterior maintenance. For many people, it seems we even outsource our thinking to our favorite news outlets and talk radio hosts. A fascinating look at the impact of work.

Music: Follies (2011 Broadway Revival): “Men are so sweet…”