The more advanced our digital technologies, the more we come to realize that reality rules. David Sax reassures us surviving members of team human that material existence is alive and well, and makes a compelling case for the reclamation of terra firma and all that comes with it.” —Douglas Rushkoff, author of Throwing Rocks at the Google Bus A funny thing happened on the way to the digital utopia. We’ve begun to fall back in love with the very analog goods and ideas the tech gurus insisted that we no longer needed. Businesses that once looked outdated, from film photography to brick-and-mortar retail, are now springing with new life. Notebooks, records, and stationery have become cool again. Behold the Revenge of Analog. David Sax has uncovered story after story of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and even big corporations who’ve found a market selling not apps or virtual solutions but real, tangible things. As e-books are supposedly remaking reading, independent bookstores have sprouted up across the country. As music allegedly migrates to the cloud, vinyl record sales have grown more than ten times over the past decade. Even the offices of tech giants like Google and Facebook increasingly rely on pen and paper to drive their brightest ideas. Sax’s work reveals a deep truth about how humans shop, interact, and even think. Blending psychology and observant wit with first-rate reportage, Sax shows the limited appeal of the purely digital life—and the robust future of the real world outside it.
As the digital era grinds on and the Internet takes over more of our daily life’s activities, something seems to be missing. The technology that was supposed to liberate us from the drudgery of life has become a distraction, which in turn prevents us from enjoying our solitude or companionship.
In an engrossing collection of insightful examples, David Sax depicts how people are increasingly looking for ways to move away from that ubiquitous screen. The screen that has become a veil between ourselves and our friends and family.
In Revenge of Analog, Sax takes readers from one relevant example to another, collecting evidence why and how younger generations are discovering the joy of analog. The concept of digital anything, from audio to video to games, is rooted in offering the ease of use and a vast choice. Still, what this standardized electronic experience lacks is the engagement of playing a vinyl record or experiencing with an imperfect but rewarding Polaroid film.
Make no mistake, the users of these analog devices are not nostalgic-harking senior citizens or Luddites. They are, in fact, in their prime teens or twenties. For the first time they hear the pure sound, see fascinating films, and begin to interact with others while playing board games.
In this fascinating book, Sax explains why newspaper reading is more rewarding than following the news online, partially because it has a beginning and finality that offers a sense of satisfaction. Something that the endless spooling on the Internet can and will never offer.
Add to this the sense of ownership, the ritual of finding and obtaining a tangible object of delight, and it is no wonder why imagination drives creativity and innovation that cannot be codified.
David Sax is a journalist and writer specializing in business and culture. His writing appears regularly in Bloomberg Businessweek, The New Yorker online, and other publications. David's first book, Save the Deli: In Search of Perfect Pastrami, Crusty Rye, and the Heart of Jewish Delicatessen and won a James Beard Award for writing and literature, as well as other awards and the praise of deli lovers everywhere. His second book is The Tastemakers: Why We're Crazy for Cronuts but Fed Up with Fondue, which is chronicles how food trends emerge, grow, and ultimately make a difference in our world. David's latest book, The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter looks at the resurgence of analog goods and ideas, during a time when we assumed digital would conquer all. David lives in Toronto, Canada with his lovely family.
"Captivating...Sax provides an insightful and entertaining account of this phenomenon, creating a powerful counternarrative to the techno-utopian belief that we would live in an ever-improving, all-digital world."
"No matter which side you're on in the debate over digital technology, there's something to cheer you in The Revenge of Analog."
"We all thought the digital age would be the end of analog media--and we were wrong. In this smart, funny, glorious book, David Sax explains why so many of us still crave the tactile, sensual experience of listening to music on vinyl records and taking notes with pencil and paper. Turn off your electronic devices, find a quiet place, and savor this remarkable book."