I seem to have acquired quite a bit of it.
Throughout the years I have accumulated stuff that I’ve needed to utilise for work and personal enjoyment: sheet music for the piano and voice, CDs, cassettes, scripts, photos, letters, newpaper clippings and reviews, etc.
So the decision needs to be made with my impending homelessness – what do I keep and what do I throw away or sell? I have carried so many of these things with me for 10 or 15 years, some even longer.
But come the digital age, I am beginning the question the requirements for physical stuff. Why have I kept all these pieces of sheet music, when I can simply download them into pdf, and get rid of the hard copies? My whole CD collection now lives in as a collection of ones and zeros inside my PC. Photos are stored within files within folders within hard drives. Standard small portable hard-drives now come at approximately 320Gig in size, and are the size of a small book that easily slips into any suitcase or bag. So all these things can now travel with me wherever I go. And once this information is backed-up, unlike paper, it will never fade, degrade or dissintergrate. It will always remain a copy of it’s former self frozen in that time.
Yet I still feel compelled to keep stuff. I have been collecting particular artists and musicians on CD for many years, and still cannot part with the physical disc even though it is now going to live in a box. And even when I reopen these boxes again, the music itself already has a digital life. Why am I so anxious to let go of the physical?
Now with the one terabyte hard drives readily available, I could even download my entire DVD collection and still have room to swing a cat, a pride of lions, a mutant elephant-giraffe cross type creature and a tribe of masai warriors, and not be able to fill the ready available storage space.
It makes me wonder what the next generation will collect. They will live in the era where a CD will be just a foreign to them as a record or LP is to day’s young adults. Music, as well as ebooks, photographs, etc., will be nothing more than a digital record in binary code. What will they attach themselves to?
I just like stuff is all.