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Tom Hume

So going digital removes context through compression, remaining static, improves precision and eases replication. I wouldn't disagree with you on any of these considerations.

My point is that your (excellent) example of analogue media adding value through context (smelling paper to detect disease) is an incredibly niche use of context in analogue media. It's one that a few people will care about greatly, but which has no impact at all for most of us.

For the vast majority of folks, the advantages of digital (which you list in this post) massively outweigh the niche advantages of analogue - which is not to say that the latter don't exist and aren't *extremely* important to a tiny segment of the population...

...In much the same way that LPs are better than CDs because the artwork is bigger. Sure, that's true - and for folks (myself included) who've invested in vinyl in the past, that's more than a trivial concern. But for people who've never known better? Well The Kids snigger at anyone who buys CDs these days, never mind LPs.

Another analogy: to me, the fact that when growing up I had to be in a certain room of my home to speak on the telephone is one I remember, but it seems kind of quaint (even though it may have had advantages of privacy and control over interruptions). But to the generations that follow, it's just plain bizarre - and I'm sure they'll have trouble seeing how the few advantages of this situation compensate for the disadvantages.

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