Nevermind the World Cup or General Petraeus, for me the big news of the day is the release of the iPhone 4. Though some lucky people received their prize yesterday, the rest of us (early adopters? Fanboys?) are forced to wait expectantly for the elusive FedEx or UPS truck to roll down the street. Anyway, that’s the story here in Jersey City where there’s nothing to do (actually, there’s always a ton of things to do) but wait.

In the meantime, this gadget-lust and obsessive need to upgrade got me thinking about a piece I wrote a while back for our sister-magazine The Curator. Here’s an excerpt, and a link to the rest below:

I think upgrading is great. I upgrade as often as possible: phone software, websites, computer hardware, anything. But I’m very much aware that something important is lost in all of this frenzied upgrading – namely, permanence.

For instance: consider that website you visit frequently. Imagine that the design has changed, but you really liked the way it looked before. Too bad – it’s gone now. This certainly has been evident in the many new iterations of Facebook that have been released in the last few years. Every time that social networking site updates their look or the way certain features work, a group (the existence of which was, of course, an added feature to their previous platform) is created decrying the new look and feel.

We, as humans, long for change, for the chance to better ourselves and our surroundings and yet, almost as vehemently, we mourn the loss of what we had. Take for example, the graphic designer who decided to print out 437 “featured” Wikipedia articles, producing a book 5,000 pages long and 19 inches thick, to “make a comment on how everyone goes to the internet these days for information, yet it is very unreliable compared to what it has replaced.” No one, not even this “artist,” is even sure what is being replaced, but we’re sure we’ll miss it – that is, if we take the time to think about it long enough.

Read the rest here.

About The Author

Jonathan D. Fitzgerald

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