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One of Michiko Kakutani's (New York Times) top ten books of 2016A funny thing happened on the way to the digital utopia. We've begun to fall back in love with the very analog goods and ideas the tech gurus insisted that we no longer needed. Businesses that once looked outdated, from film photography to brick-and-mortar retail, are now springing with new life. Notebooks, reOne of Michiko Kakutani's (New York Times) top ten books of 2016A funny thing happened on the way to the digital utopia. We've begun to fall back in love with the very analog goods and ideas the tech gurus insisted that we no longer needed. Businesses that once looked outdated, from film photography to brick-and-mortar retail, are now springing with new life. Notebooks, records, and stationery have become cool again. Behold the Revenge of Analog.David Sax has uncovered story after story of entrepreneurs, small business owners, and even big corporations who've found a market selling not apps or virtual solutions but real, tangible things. As e-books are supposedly remaking reading, independent bookstores have sprouted up across the country. As music allegedly migrates to the cloud, vinyl record sales have grown more than ten times over the past decade. Even the offices of tech giants like Google and Facebook increasingly rely on pen and paper to drive their brightest ideas.Sax's work reveals a deep truth about how humans shop, interact, and even think. Blending psychology and observant wit with first-rate reportage, Sax shows the limited appeal of the purely digital life-and the robust future of the real world outside it....

Title : The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781610395717
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter Reviews

  • hedgehog
    2019-02-05 22:14

    1.5* rounded down. Focusing each chapter on a specific company helps narrow the focus on larger industries to useful, specific anecdotes, but has the unfortunate effect of sounding like breathless advertisements for said company. "The Revenge of Paper" reads like a twenty page shill for Moleskine. Other chapters aren't much better: the resurgence of physical goods felt like less to do with the so-called revenge of analog and more due to the application of clever advertising strategies. Not once but several times, Sax comes right up to the realization that the "revenge" of analog products has much to do with the acquisition of them as status symbols and then... is too unaware to process this? Doesn't think it's worth discussing? Throughout the book are quotes like "Print [...] had become a luxury item", and "Books are an aspirational consumer product". Sure, of course. As technology (or nearly anything else) becomes more affordable and commonplace, the goalposts of wealth and status shift. There's a strong socioeconomic factor re: what is marketed as desirable. That's surely worth some consideration; at the very least, it's not negligible. This book repeatedly skates right by that. There are some relevant insights on how analog methods differ from digital ones in the work and education chapters, but for the sections on consumer products, the answer to the title - why analog matters - seems largely to be "because it's what cool (rich) people do". Obviously, there are differences between digital and analog. Obviously, there are pros and cons for each, and the human brain handles data from different sources... differently. If you're not going to delve into the science or psychology of this topic, and are instead trying to argue for analog as a way to increase one's social cachet, then at least engage with or even bother to identify that core premise. Sax's failure to do either made Revenge of Analog a nonstarter for me.(The last chapter of this book, "The Revenge of Summer", centers around a tech-free summer camp that the author mentioned attending as a child. In 2017, the 7-week program costs nearly nine thousand dollars. Such people may well attribute the comeback of, e.g., vinyl records, to factors like nostalgia and having a physical collection, instead of *cough* unimportant factors like a.) physical space for storage, b.) money!!!, c.) leisure time to procure and play their finds, and d.) who has the capability to have A-C.)

  • Noah Nichols
    2019-02-15 16:02

    This one was an interesting read about the cancer-spreading nature of our unified reliance on ever-evolving technology. Some parts do drag a tad (like the parts about paper and online storefronts shipping orders), but there is a lot to enjoy here. Side note: I've noticed many reviewers slamming the writer of this book, and I just have to wonder why that is. In my eyes, he's not pushing an agenda on anyone! I feel like the people who get upset about books exploring this important topic are closet addicts to their devices and it's hard for them to realize just how bad they've become. Denial is a hell of a drug. I totally get it. Really, I do!Anyway, there were several sections of The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter that intrigued me greatly. And said sections still do provoke thought and reflection. I found the area about film in all its variations to be especially enjoyable. Also the board game chapter discussing their surprising rise back to prominence was a pleasant highlight. An honorable mention goes to the dissection of vinyl's relevance in mainstream music culture nowadays. For me, this book will be even more amusing to read in about twenty years—that is, if I am lucky to live that long—when we all become bigger addicts/slaves to our digital time-killers (in whatever shape they may take); not to mention the amusement I gather visualizing our upcoming text neck issues that are surely bound to surface in droves. Maybe authorities are going to put a stop to all that since they're now passing laws banning you from looking down at your phone whilst crossing the street. I'm not being sarcastic; it's a real thing happening in Honolulu. Don't believe? Read (!): http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/29/us/smar...How laughably INSANE is that? It's gotten so prevalent (and so dangerous) that they've actually had to enact a law on our growing addiction—and our growing preference—to gazing downward to a precious, glassy distraction. Wild! While it's true that we may have more options at our disposal and more convenience is presented so rapidly to us in every facet of our daily lives now, I pose but just one question to you: do we really have it any better than the other less-distracted generations who went without such frivolous and shallow perks? In a way, it makes me kind of sick to think about how spoiled we are as a society these days. It's only getting worse, too. Not better. Never better! We take every throwaway luxury for granted more often than not. And that's the confounding problem in and of itself—the widespread desensitization to electronic elation. But what's more intoxicating to the lonely than a smartphone screen in the evening? Nothing; that's what, honestly.Suddenly I'm feeling a little verklempt. Type amongst yourselves...I'll give you a topic. The Internet is neither an inter nor a net. Discuss.

  • Elena
    2019-02-20 20:04

    The personality of the author (sensed through his comments) was close to unpleasant. I managed to go through about 1/2 of the book and returned my digital audio file back to the library as soon as i reached the spot where the author described how he returned shoes to a store in one year after wearing them... Somewhat interesting were chapters on board game renaissance and romantic experience of writing in moleskine notebooks. The reason i picked up the book in the first place was my surprise. Who needs analogue (physical clutter) in the age of mobility and minimalism? After receiving all the arguments, i am still holding to my initial opinion - majority moved on, only special niche markets (consisting likely of those that are too rich, spoiled and bored) are willing to occasionally entertain themselves with something "different" from the current flow. I personally love fabric stuff made in patchwork technique and a lot of niche books are published on the topic. It does not mean, though, that mass home-sewing is returning. Niches are niches, always were, always will be. Globalization and Internet will be able to support such businesses with no problems. Overall, i did not find deep/clever/interesting insights but did hear enough to understand that the author is actively looking for personal investment opportunities and selling some parts of the research to the public in the form of a book.

  • Kyle
    2019-02-23 20:19

    Subject-wise, the book was intriguing.... but for some reason, the tone of the writing just didn't resonate with me. I felt that, if this book and I were at a party, and we were having a conversation, it would be one of those awkward conversations where I would feel like I'm being lectured to and I would have to feign interest and nod my head like I'm listening, but really I would be coming up with a way to get out of the conversation.2.5/5

  • Margaret Sankey
    2019-01-25 19:01

    Hilariously, despite several pointed statements in the work that this is better read in analog form, I read it because it was distributed to my Kindle as a galley review copy. I get it, I really do--there are tactile satisfactions to reading a well-produced book, and there is nothing like slamming a heavy landline phone, not to mention that digital music and books don't quite *belong* to you the way a physical object does. But Sax's narrative is then his exploration of the artisan and niche production and stores that cater to people who have the luxury of choosing vinyl records, which is interesting, but ultimately unconvincing as a wave of return to "real things."

  • Jeff Anthony
    2019-01-28 20:02

    This book would make a great article in the New Yorker, or the Sunday NYT magazine. Just the intro, a few paragraphs from the 1st chapter, a few paragraphs on education/tech failure, and a good bit from the epilogue.Everything else?GARBAGEI don't know know how many times I said to myself after finishing some grandiose pronouncement by this author with: No, actually that is not how it works, or how it happened.Time and time again, this author took bits of information, and jammed it into his predetermined narrative, and if it did not fit nice and neatly, he just glossed right over it with some grand pronouncement.GARBAGEI found the bit on Ron Johnson, and how he treated this guys story as a perfect encapsulation of how this author selectively uses data and completely ignores data that does not bolster his thesis.He brags about how Ron Johnson came up with the Apple Store and the Genius Bar and turned the Apple Store into a place where people wanted to go, be in the real world, as opposed to virtual, and how that is great because you know, The Revenge of Analog. Then he jumps ahead 12 years to how Ron Johnson is now using that same concept in a new company...But the author completely ignores what happened in-between those 2 events. Ron Johnson went to JC Penny to turn that company around, and use his Apple Store vision, his 'Revenge of Analogue' experience to save JC Penny.What happened? Ron Johnson was fired after quarter after quarter of double digit sales drops, culminating in what people called "the worst quarter in retail history."GARBAGEThis is something I know about and caught this author doing, so how many more of these stories was I fed that are on similar shaky ground? I don't know, and that is the problem. I lost trust in this author.

  • Keith
    2019-01-30 14:03

    This is a fascinating examination of aspects and products that we tend to consider over and done with in the digital age. Turns out some things might have more longevity than we think. Author Sax divides his book into two main areas: Part I: The Revenge of Analog Things and Part II: The Revenge of Analog Ideas. The “revenge” aspect reflects that dismissive attitude these things and ideas experienced as digital took hold. For example, chapter 1 discusses an analog thing long considered dead and buried: vinyl records. Supplanted by compact discs, which in turn has been mostly supplanted by MP3 streaming services. This dealt the music industry a severe blow from which it has only begun to recover. As Sax notes: “Once music was divorced from any physical object, its supply so vastly exceeded demand that people simply refused to pay for it.” Sax accurately notes that what vinyl provided was a sense of acquisition, of ownership, of objects to be handled and displayed. Vinyl, however, is back with a vengeance. Record pressing plants are running 24/7, there's a turntable renaissance and many new record stores are selling vinyl exclusively. (Berlin has over a hundred vinyl stores). Sax goes on to describe similar resurgences in manufacturing analog camera film, in the resurrection of the Moleskine notebook, of magazines, fountain pens and board games. The second half is not about things but about processes, instances where analog has crept into school and work, pushing out digital innovations. This second section beautifully illustrates how analog ideas can aid digital and also times when digital just gets in the way of creativity and communication. One example where analog has come back is the workplace, particularly the workplaces of high tech companies. Adobe teaches their interface designers how to meditate and how to sketch with paper and ink, Yelp provides non tech workspaces, Facebook has the Analog Research Laboratory where a completely analog letterpress is available. The book is a stimulating read about these analog eruptions and although Sax makes it clear that all of these movements are minority events they are occupying serious niches. Sax reminded me of one particular aspect of my analog life, the Saturday morning visits to record and book stores, a search and a browse and all of it hands on, then home to admire, read, listen and place on shelves. That involvement is a big part of what’s missing.In a lovely epilogue Sax returns to the summer camp he attended as a teenager. The camp has a no-technology policy and although there are occasional violations the young people he interviews are mostly OK with a tech free summer camp (Interestingly, it's mostly the parents who want to stay in touch). Sax offers this concluding thought that admirably sums up many of the issues discussed in the book:“No one, including myself, advocated a return to the predigital lives we once knew. No one was flinging their phones into lakes, or exclusively living off the grid. An entirely analog existence was unattainable and unattractive, but so was an exclusively digital one. What was ideal, and what lay behind the Revenge of Analog, was striking a balance between the two."

  • TJ Wilson
    2019-02-17 21:08

    I have been waiting for a book to come out that says exactly this. I couldn't believe people are still doing film, but when I googled "lomography," I can see why. And I can see "happy accidents" with film being a thing too. It's much better rolling real dice than choosing a random generator on the internet. I get it now. I now understand the resurgance of vinyl and why I choose paper for notes and to-dos and the like.The school bit struck home pretty good as I am a teacher. And I think I've found that he is right, although I used to be in the other camp, the camp that lauded technology as a huge game-changer. And the irony about all of this is that I'm currently teaching Bradbury's most famous work as I write this.Anyway, I have always thought that the digital momentum is building and going and going, and this reassures me that all my reservations are true. Yes, ebooks are good and great, but real books have a place. I hear echoes of this in Mark Kurlansky's book, Paper. We need analog. And we need digital.It's a pretty good place to be historically. Of course, I say that now.

  • Darren
    2019-02-09 18:15

    Wow! A fascinating book for a modern-day digital junkie who remembers (a lot of) the analogue past and still keeps a lot of analogue material in his life. This book is an appreciation of the analogue world and looks at how it is making a bit of a selected comeback.This is not a manifesto to eschew all things digital. There is something to be said about having hundreds (or more) eBooks with you, instead of carting several packing crates of heavy books around just-in-case or getting the tune you want, when you want it, wherever you may be in the world. Digital has its place but analogue can still play its part on your terms. So this look at how some analogue things are coming back in our digital world was a great read (even if there’s a slight irony that this review copy was digital, rather than “dead tree”). The author presents a light-hearted yet immensely informative and well-researched look at individuals and corporations who are making a living from the once-dead analogue world.Within the book were quite a few surprises to this allegedly well-read and informed reviewer. Even more data-points to commit to the old brainbox! For those who crave even more information there are many further reading suggestions at the end of the book.This is a short, but sweet, review. The book doesn’t need any more. It is a book for reading. It is a book that will deliver a great story, backed up by a tremendous amount of information. A great travelling companion or research resource. Highly recommended in other words, whether you consume it digitally or in an analogue format!Autamme.com

  • Michael Hyatt
    2019-01-26 16:07

    My personal involvement in the digital revolution made me extremely interested when I encountered journalist David Sax’s book, The Revenge of Analog. He follows the trend away from digital in several different areas including publishing, retail, the work environment, and education.Sax makes explicit something many of us feel implicitly. Real, tangible things matter. And that insight has tremendous implications for business today—not only in how we purchase and consume, but also in how we invest and grow.

  • Moshe Mikanovsky
    2019-01-26 22:11

    Chapter 8 - The Revenge of School - this is, in my opinion, the most important chapter of the book! I don't know why it doesn't come first in the book, and if you skipped it or quit the book mid-way, you should at least read this one. The reasons for the revenge of dialog are still vague in my mind. I think it's really a matter of personal preferences. As much as some romanticise vinyl records, it's not for everyone. I LOVE printed books and never took on for eBooks, as convenient as they are, but many of my friends will never go back to read the printed books. And so many of the examples in this book are, in my opinion, romanticized and don't really represent a revolution of sorts. Education, on the other hand - well this one is important! And if studies do show that analog learning is more effective than digital one, that IS important to know...

  • Kate
    2019-02-10 15:51

    Analog is making a comeback, despite everyone predicting that the future is digital: from a resurgence in sales of vinyl records to drops in ebook sales and new bookstores popping up and thriving, people are craving real things over digital. This book examines several areas of analog's revenge: music, film, gaming, and paper, as well as digital trends and ideas that are slowly reversing, such as a new value in hand-made items and education's need for less digital and more human and tactile elements. I personally have reached a digital overload and find myself seeking out the above things (vinyl records, old typewriters) and it was interesting to read about how these things are made and why others find them valuable. I was a little surprised that bullet journaling wasn't mentioned in the section on paper, but the focus was on the brand Moleskine and these journals are used somewhat similarly. I'd recommend this book to anyone who might think the analog revolution is only for hipsters or for nostalgic value. In particular the section on analog vs. digital schooling should be read by everyone in school administration (the teachers already know this stuff!).

  • Darcy McLaughlin
    2019-01-27 22:02

    Revenge of Analog is an interesting book that has a lot to like, but isn't without flaws. I'm glad that Sax explains early on that the book isn't necessarily an "anti-digital" book, and he recognizes that those aspects of the world are things that aren't going away. I do agree with his points about analog things being stimulating to humans, everything appealing about them seems tied into a romanticism that isn't quite possible to explain. Unfortunately this leads to a lot of instances of Sax waxing poetic about how wonderful analog things are with just a light amount of research to back it up. One thing this book reminds me is that engaging in this "analog world" is expensive. I love records and would buy a lot more if they weren't so expensive, and now that vinyl is a cool product again prices just continue to rise. This is a theme throughout the book, as Sax talks about paying almost $450 a year to read the Economist and New York Times, or lovingly describes his "analog" summer camp from childhood (which currently costs almost 10 grand per kid!). A lot of these things appeal to me, but I (and a lot of the general public) probably can't afford to regularly drop $20 on a Moleskine notebook. The other weakness I found was the chapter about board games, which felt like a really extended advertisement for Snakes and Lattes. I've actually been a few times, and it's a fine place but Sax depicts it like the vision of geniuses and just overly dramatizes the whole thing. It's a board game café. Essentially it's a fun quick read, especially if you're interested in the topics at hand. Don't expect to go into too much detail regarding the actual psychology behind human interaction with analog things, and you'll probably enjoy it. Random Note: There's no way that ending is real.

  • Atila Iamarino
    2019-02-24 19:12

    Um culto à tecnologias analógicas, passando por muitos pontos. Livros, LPs, jogos, cadernos, filmes, fotografias... bem informado, mas um tanto nostálgico demais para o meu gosto. Me alinho mais com o Kevin Kelly no sentido de que voltamos para essas tecnologias analógicas só enquanto as digitais não são tão boas. Mesmo assim tem boas críticas. Vou aproveitar bastante a discussão em torno de ensino à distância, por exemplo.

  • EggSalad
    2019-01-30 17:55

    An interesting thesis, but the book comes across as a bit disjointed. There are very interesting examples of how non-digital activities seem to be making comeback, but I was not convinced they all belonged in the same book. Still, at the end, an enjoyable read.

  • Ezra
    2019-02-06 13:54

    Each chapter covered a medium. So, the book was well organized. The writing was okay.As a technologist who takes a notebook to meetings and uses up willpower not to look at my phone in boring meetings, I agree with the premise of the book. I just found myself annoyed in every chapter about something.The worst was the last chapter. I think Sax is an extravert, so his idea is the problem is digital keeps us from socializing. People like him are the reason open floor plans are the rage and driving out engineers who tend to be introverts and can stand only so much social. Yes we need serendipitous face-to-face interactions, but they need to be limited.

  • Stefan
    2019-02-08 18:08

    Interesting premise but the execution just didn't work for me. I did enjoy the section on the history of the Moleskin journal as I am an avid user of the product.

  • Joseph Rizzo
    2019-02-11 16:15

    I love this book, this hardcover paper and ink printed book. This is a look into many of the industries that have been disrupted by the digital revolution. Much to my surprise, it lays out some surprising realities showing a revival of analog technologies that many would think extinct or soon to be. The author instead shows the advantages that analog has in certain areas, and how they contributed to the persistence and revival of such things as vinyl records, moleskine notebooks, film photography, retail stores, magazines and newspapers, board games, etc. We live in an analog world, and despite the saturation of screens, devices, and all things digital, it does have it's limitations. After reading this book, it will give you a better appreciation for the real world, and perhaps make you a little more likely to sit down with pen and paper, or pickup a map, or a newspaper.

  • Bram
    2019-02-03 18:04

    First half is basically case studies of analog startups — interesting enough, but the second half is really where it picks with "The Revenge of Analog Ideas." There, Sax starts to take a look more at the superiority of working analog by analyzing some key areas.It's tough, reviewing, where you want the subject to me something other than it is. I wanted more biology and neuroscience, with all the recent discoveries about how humans absorb, process, and retain information better when it's analog. But the book does an admirable job of covering what it does, with an easy, comfortable style with plenty of quotes and anecdotes.

  • Libby Shepherd
    2019-02-10 15:05

    These are a few of my favorite things: vinyl records, mole skin journals, old books, post it notes, board games and a piece of paper I can doodle on. Quotes I loved and had to jot down... "initial ideas blossom on paper first" and "we don't have a skill gap in America-we have a value gap"

  • Satyajit Chetri
    2019-02-06 19:53

    Last book of the year!

  • Dave Jones
    2019-02-07 16:17

    This book came on my radar when, at a family function, my step-uncle’s son recommended it to me. I was intrigued by the premise. Honestly, the issue holding me back was the book’s $18 price tag – and a Kindle book at that! Suddenly Amazon offered it at $4. I felt that I was “meant” to read it.Full disclosure: I’m pretty much fully on the digital side of the analog vs. digital spectrum. I love my Kindle and don’t miss “dead tree” books ! I read more often and love the enhanced capabilities of the Kindle (e.g. built-in dictionary, lighted screen, etc.). I also love the portability of the content and not having to worry about storage. After all as anybody who moves can tell you: books are heavy! I also love my MP3s. I love calling up Amazon (by voice, when I’m home) and playing a song that has been knocking around in my head. It’s great to play music, via headphones, when I’m at work (shh!).The author is clearly not as digitally passionate as I am. He describes the experience of going into a vinyl music store in great sensual detail. Clearly, he loves his vinyl. Whatever! To me, I feel that the MP3 format has made music more accessible and less of a bother. He sees the extra step associated with loading a disc as more of an emotional investment that enhances the experience. Uh, sure. The point he emphasizes is that there is an emotional attachment to analog that does not exist with digital. While I personally don’t feel like I’m missing much, I understand it better after his description.Mr. Sax doesn’t always dwell in the touchy-feely though. He also examines the business of Analog. He profiles the savvy merchants who have surreptitiously found creative ways to bring these “real” products to a marketplace that is saturated with digital offerings. These are great stories. Within the Analog world, these are the heroes that have rescued and resuscitated the objects of their passion. He also examines the creative differences between digital and analog. In musical recording, for example, he contrasts the let’s get it perfect approach associated with digital to the more performance-based analog approach. This is a worthwhile and intriguing examination. Not too long ago, Netflix showed Side by Side in which A-List directors described the various distinctions between film vs. digital. The directors (Martin Scorcese?) describes the analog process of reviewing the “dailies” (the viewing of that day’s filming) and its influence on the creative process. Interestingly, Sax does not mention the analog vs. digital dynamic as it relates to the big screen. Sax also described the emotion present during the recording of one of my favorite David Bowie songs: Five Years. Education as in online vs. traditional-teacher-in-front-of-a-class is also scrutinized. Apparently digital education significantly underperforms. That may be true. The treatise led me down a road that one of the major problems with online education is that the social experience is non-existent. I wonder about the subjects that are taught online. It’s one thing when we’re enrolled in social studies and another – as in my case – when I’m learning a computer programming language. (It just so happens that at the same time I was reading this, I was taking an online class in the Python language.) Socialization may actually be a distraction. However, at the community college that offered online classes, students were very passionate about online classes: love vs. hate with no in-between.Perhaps the most ironic chapter was the one that discussed the centrality of analog artifacts within the digital world. Apparently those with the biggest online presence (e.g. Facebook, Evernote, et al.) prefer whiteboards and paper over design software (at least initially). Overall this is an excellent book. Sax occasionally overreaches. For example, he does not respect or understand his Kindle: “but I could read without having to charge a battery.”Dude, you only have to charge it every 3 weeks. I bet you charge your phone EVERY day! Furthermore, I could read my book in the dark while you struggle to FIND your paperback.“I could accidentally step on a book and not have to pay Amazon $140 for a …” You moron! You need to treat your stuff with respect. You could step on one of your precious vinyl albums too and do far more damage while your MP3 collection remains intact as it silently mocks your ineptitude. Since I read this book on a Kindle (yeah, I see the irony), I could not resist stepping up to defend it. Let’s call it Revenge of the Kindle!BTW, for an eBook that normally costs $18, it could be more digital friendly. There is not X-Ray content, the page matrix button is grayed out, and NO PICTURES! This guy goes on-and-on about analog photography and his worldwide travels but there are no pictures – analog or otherwise. Despite these rare missteps, this is an enlightening read even if I am no closer to giving up ebooks, MP3s, and other digital trappings.UPON FURTHER REVIEW: I'm penalizing my review one star. Amazon is selling this book for even more than the hardbound version. For $18, you would expect that the Kindle version would have a full complement of goodies (matrix navigation, x-ray, etc.) or at least pictures. Sax is gouging us "digitals." This is a unfair and a bad value! #RevengeOfTheDigital #RevengeOfKindle

  • Zach Koenig
    2019-02-12 14:13

    There is not doubt that technology keeps moving forward in leaps and bounds. A new iPhone comes out every year now, and all kinds of gadgets proliferate the market. However, there are still a number of people who prefer a more old-fashioned or hands-on experience. That market (dismissed in many circles as "behind the times" or "stubborn non-adapters") is what "Revenge of Analog" speaks to.The basic premised espoused here by author David Sax two-fold:1. Though modern technology is great, it almost intrinsically removes us from the "human experience" of many things, as anything done via a screen is (at best) a reproduction of some physical experience. For example, do the clicks, pops, and white noise of a turnable ruin the experience of listening to music...or enhance it? Does carrying around a Moleskin notebook put you at a disadvantage...or allow you more flexibility to get your thoughts into reality? Do schools really benefit from having technology in each and every classroom? These topics (and many more) are the types of conversations Sax has in this book.2. Whether or not digital is "always better than analog", Sax also reveals there is no doubt that a niche market (which actually appears to be growing) exists for analog products. Record sales reached a pittance a decade ago...but now are trending upward. The same can be said for ebooks; they once were thought to have the ability to take over the market completely, yet are lagging badly behind print books. Basically, what Sax is saying here is that the "digital revolution" is not (and will likely not ever be) 100% all-encompassing.As someone born in 1985, these are issues that fascinate me, as I feel like I have lived through a unique configuration of technology over the course of my lifetime. As a child, I learned VCRs, Windows 3.1 on the one family computer, and the only phone in my household was a rotary dial hanging on the wall. Today? I'm typing this review on a MacBook, watching streaming television, with an iPhone 7+ in my pocket. I've seen a lot of technology come and go just in my lifetime, and there are many feelings (some quite nostalgic) associated with those phases. As such, it was very interesting to read that some of the technologies long thought "dead and gone" are indeed alive (if not necessarily "well") among certain circles."Revenge of Analog" is first and foremost an "idea book", and as that it is a very interesting read. Sometimes it gets bogged down in sales figures and numbers, but when it focuses on the concept of "digital vs. analog" Sax's text really shines and will provoke quite a bit of thought for those who like that in a reading experience.

  • Adrian
    2019-02-24 21:00

    Toronto writer Sax charts how the disappearance of analog hasn't happened and in some cases is making an impressive comeback. He devotes a chapter each to vinyl, paper, film, board games, print, retail, work and school. He's not hardcore anti-digital nor against computers and all their manifestations just realistic in how exaggerated the promise of digital was. Two of his analog developments are visible nearby; a record store just down the street and a board game playing venue in downtown Edmonton. I was also struck by the idea of 'finishability' as a reason why people prefer magazines and newspapers to websites. People like to finish stuff-it's satisfying. So is knowing that not everyone is slave to his/her cellphone.

  • Luz Blakney
    2019-02-17 15:13

    I️ read this book because it was mentioned as one of the New York Times 10 best books of 2016. It was an interesting read! Real things matter, like board games , vinyl records, paper, retail, mindfulness, etc. I️ especially enjoyed the revenge of the vinyls in the music culture. Going to the record store, selecting a record, comparing covers and then listening to those records, it was a full experience! Some parts of the book were a little tedious but the main topic is interesting. We need intentionally analog spaces at home and at work to encourage more interpersonal collaboration. “The world is analog and digital is always a representation “

  • Fiona
    2019-02-04 19:08

    This is a well-researched and cogently put through argument for the persistence of the analog in the digital age. Through the revival of vinyl, the persistence of paper, the rise of indie brick-and-mortar stores, the emergence of artisanal labour, the triumph of print media and more (I ran out of adjectives and the others interested me less), Sax brings us on a journey to see how analog takes its sweet sweet revenge.

  • Michael Scherotter
    2019-02-12 21:20

    For someone who loves journaling and analog craft, this book confirms many of my beliefs. This is well-written and gives some great examples of how analog things are making a comeback in our digital world. A similar reaction happened over 100 years ago with the arts and crafts movement in architecture and design but that ended up creating things that were only affordable to the wealthy. This seems like something different - Sax is onto something.

  • Rob Neyer
    2019-02-19 18:57

    So it turns out books and bookstores aren't going away. For which I am grateful.

  • jeremy
    2019-02-17 21:10

    this matters in the great scheme of things, because the notion that investing in technology is the way forward for households, institutions, and communities is more like a compelling sideshow than the story of the real economy.david sax's wonderful, relentlessly informative new book, the revenge of analog: real things and why they matter, upends the tired (and tiresome) notion that digital technology will usher in an era of interpersonal connectivity, efficient manufacturing, educational advances, and utopian innovation. with chapters on vinyl records, paper products and print books, film, board games, retail, manufacturing, work, school, and others, sax charts the resurgence of analog technologies, reporting from across a wide spectrum of industries to make the case that, despite the promise of technology-based social salvation, we may well have reached the digital apex. with an engaging blend of anecdote and analysis, the revenge of analog contravenes the ongoing media narrative extolling our brave new digital future. wherever sax makes a foray, he seems to find a thriving (and increasingly more lucrative) marketplace with a renascent interest in the tried and true. fusing human psychology, futurism, history, marketing, business, and economics, the revenge of analog is a stimulating, thought-provoking work on the enduring importance of analog technology in its myriad forms and applications, and the omnipresent trend toward the revitalization (and renewed appreciation) of analog in our contemporary society. while a work like this, in lesser hands, could have easily devolved into a luddite screed, nowhere within the book does sax romanticize analog for its own sake. the benefits, virtues, and advantages of analog are many (especially in how we relate to one another both individually and collectively), and sax's reporting on the movement towards a more balanced future portends an age where our over-reliance on digital technology ought to decrease in favor of 'real things.' the revenge of analog is well-researched, frequently amusing, and wittily written; sax has done a tremendous job at distilling the momentum behind a most necessary (and underreported) cultural shift gaining ever more traction by the day.what i found over the course of writing this book, however, is the exact opposite. the younger someone was, the more digitally exposed their generation was, the less i found them enamored by digital technology, and the more they were wary of its effects. these were teenagers and twentysomethings out buying new turntables, film cameras, and novels in paperback. they were the students who told me how they would rather be constrained by the borders of a page than the limits of word processors. these kids revered analog. they craved it. and they were more articulate about its benefits than was anyone else i spoke with.*tip of the hat to sax for employing a jackie treehorn line as one of the book's epigraphs.

  • Sue Smith
    2019-01-31 18:04

    An interesting look at the ideas and items of modern times through the lens of the ideas and items that preceded them. Some of this book has some truth to it and it's interesting to reflect on it in a hindsight-kind-of-way, but some - well - not so much. I won't disagree that there are aspects of the future aren't all they're cracked up to be, but that won't change a thing unless there is a revolution against it and as most of what has changed is a product of 'ease' and making someone money, it would have to an incredible revolution.Me - I'm sticking to my books and writing long-hand. I like taking things slow and steady. I like the feel of things in my hands - I personally think there's a huge connect between tactile and retention. And I also like my privacy, so other than spouting my personal opinions on books I've read on Goodreads, I've opted out of Facebook and Twitter. I don't need or like the drama. Social media is out of control. So, that all being said, this book is one to think about. It's certainly entertaining and would be a great book to read in a book club that has a wide age span in it, as all ages have different perspectives on how things are and the benefits and detriments of things past and present.