Planning in the Age of Zero and One
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Digital Changing the Real

Analog vs digital

[From Geekologie

My latest piece for The Marketing Society [UK] has gone up. 

It's about how all those things I put in that video of COOL THINGS for the CLIOs seem [in retrospect] to have something in common - they are digital things that effect changes in the real world.

It starts like this:

Originally, media was all about recording the world. 

We wanted to capture what we saw, freeze it in time and space, show other people.

Analogue media forms are an attempt to recreate the world faithfully, transposing variations in amplitude and frequency to recreate the impact on our senses. It takes a property of a medium and modulates it to transmit information.

In analogue sound recording fluctuations in air pressure [that we hear as sounds] strike the diaphragm of a microphone, which induces corresponding fluctuations in the current produced by the [electromagnetic] microphone. That current is therefore an ‘analog’ of the sound.

The digital revolution transmits data in a different way, representing everything as numbers, and rendering them into binary: discrete on and off states that computers recompile back into representations of the sensorial world.

Eventually though, it became apparent that the relationship between media and the real world, reality and simulacrum, was not one-way.