Reflections on possession

I really enjoyed the turn of phrase and subtlety embodied in this article on Technology Review by Simson L. Garfinkel on the gains and loss in the shift of our possessions from physical things to digital. While it has the same luddite sense as my own work – that maybe this is only an issue for people who actually experienced physical possessions like books and LPs and won’t be for forthcoming generations who never did – and I didn’t learn anything particularly new, Garfinkel sure can turn a nice phrase. The article could do with a few paragraph breaks, though!

A little sample…

There will never be a well-worn copy of my favorite digital book.Dissolving physical possessions into the cloud is certainly convenient. It may even make us less covetous and more inclined to share. But this new form of property is also shaping up to have more serious consequences than the loss of a few conversations. One is that those previously inanimate possessions can now talk about you behind your back. Watch a movie on Netflix or Amazon, and the company’s servers know who you are and what you watch, when you watch it, where you’re watching from (more or less), and even when you fast-forward.

and

Physical landlords can’t have a tenant’s possessions trucked off to the dump without due process; even those who withhold rent are given a chance to fight eviction in court. Cloud providers should similarly be prohibited from deleting your data at will, and there should be a legally mandated process for moving digital possessions to another cloud—or copying it to your home computer.

A Cloud over Ownership  – Technology Review

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One thought on “Reflections on possession”

  1. Hello, I create the planets most extreme 2D barcodes I use the Microsoft Tag as my palette. Many say that I have invented a new medium in art. My art can be reproduced on canvas or just about any flat surface. This I believe is heirloom worthy. As art it can be held, sold and handed down. I have hundreds of designs on my facebook page “Microsoft Tag Master” and some cool examples of a line of greeting cards at my other site car2ds.com there are also two of my Tags on the homepage of tag.microsoft.com. I hope you find my work interesting. I am excited to think that my art might be hanging on a wall and still function in several hundred years… d

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