Forward into the 19th Century

Subject: Forward into the 19th Century
Date: Thu Oct 21 2004 - 11:32:27 EDT

I've noticed three times in the past week now, phones (usually expensive
flashy digital ones) which have a ring which mimics the old style
analog bell sound, except of course produced digitally, which makes it sound
dull and processed.  This morning I was talking to a receptionist here at
Concordia and her phone rang with the analog style ring.  After she was off
i asked her about it, and she said it was one of the custom settings she can
choose on the phone.  I asked her if she liked it better, and she said she
still hates the sound of phones ringing (as most receptionists probably do),
but it was the best option available.  I find it very interesting that we've
gotten to the point where we use our new technology to re-create out-dated
technology, and just as interesting that given the choice people seem to
prefer sensations which connect back to the old technology.  I thought back
to the section in Shafer's "Tuning Of The World" where he foretold that one
day people would be able to choose custom rings which could play songs and
such, which has obviously come to pass.  I wonder though if he ever imagined
that we'd get to the point where given the choice people would simply select
the type of ring which already existed then.
   Any thoughts or comments?
     and ever...
       - chris galanis

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