nostalgia 2.0

The more digital we become, the more misty-eyed we get – apparently – about analogue.

I keep coming across instances of this, and surely it must mean something, so I’m gonna start a collection:

1) Pilothandwriting.com

Basically, this is an online app for Pilot Pens that allows you to create (through a highly laborious, painstaking digitisation process) a font version of your own handwriting.

That you can then, like, print out. On paper.

It’s so wonderfully circular it’s virtually Kafka.

2) The Moleskine Kindle Cover

Inspired by what the website terms “notebook hackers”, who ‘create their own custom-made accessories weaving together paper pages and digital tools.’

Pretentious? Or just resourceful?

There is something a lot more credible and real, evidently, about paper.

3) Ugly ipod cosies from Etsy.com

I love how Etsy has a whole category for ‘geekery’: embroideries, applique, papier mache and every other kind of hokey embellishment designed to fit around various anodised aluminium gadgets.

Rob Walker has some interesting stuff to say about this. How it’s to do with handmade, analogue things being somehow less alienating, less faceless than the digital equivalents. I think I agree. They are reified. They are special.

It makes me think – to randomly segue – of the idea of ‘dust’ in the Phillip Pulman fantasy novels, of “the material that is formed when matter becomes conscious.” It’s the thought that things made-by-humans carry a kind of halo or aura, that marks them out permanently as special, imbued.

There’s an aura, I suppose, around a lot of analogue stuff that most digital things lack.

So poignant, and so strange.

It’s like this basic need: no matter how slick and 2.o we all get, we still crave things that are not manufactured, but simply, humbly made.

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