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One thing I realized when I was having my vintage wristwatch hobby was that the mechanical wristwatch lasted from about 1914 to about 1970. We still make them and stuff, but they’re actually kind of pointless, because a two-dollar quartz watch is more accurate than all but the very finest mechanical watches, which cost as much as small cars now. So that was something that all humanity took absolutely for granted, that this technological thing that was absolutely ubiquitous, and kept the world on time, and was absolutely necessary. It’s gone because it was supplanted by something cheaper and more efficient.

And recorded music — in the sense of what it was when The Beatles arrived — was probably really gone with the advent of cassette tape. Because that was all of what it took to break
the monopoly of production, of manufacture. There was never any real way to copy a vinyl record except to make another record, or make a copy on a reel-to-reel machine. It just wasn’t something you could carry around. But as soon as that cassette tape was there, the monopoly was gone and the things started falling apart…I’ve yet to come to a very clear opinion myself on how that’s going to play out with printed books, but definitely, something is happening.

William Gibson on Punk Rock, Internet Memes, and 'Gangnam Style' | Underwire | Wired.com

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