Friday, March 11, 2011

A Parable on Obselescence

I love using the back of catalog cards to write down call numbers from the library computer. There’s something fascinating about the way its current use is based solely in its physical properties; it has nothing to do with the information it holds. It's similar to imagining ten years from now using iPhones as paper weights. However, now we throw things away so easily and they become obsolete so quickly, it’s hard to come up with a modern day equivalent. Perhaps one day we will sell library books in bundles for firewood. In fact, even the mere physicality of the catalog card is now obsolete. Yesterday I realized there is an option to get the call number texted to your phone. I opted instead to scribble the numbers down with a little yellow golf pencil on an old-fashioned card. When I flipped it over it read:


Agenda v.5 no. 1 January/February 1982 p.2, 15

We live in strange times my friends.