Actual vs. virtual

Two recent Zippys in which Zippy confronts changing times, in particular the passing of books and newspapers as actual objects (though now welcoming virtual objects, while Zerbina defends the tactile experience), and coping with handheld devices (like the vacuum cleaner!):

Now, of course, iPads, Kindles, etc. are actual objects, indeed objects you hold in your hand. But they are also virtual devices, reproducing the appearance of other actual objects, hence one degree removed from “reality”. Yet physical books and newspapers are themselves one degree away from the reality of speech (a fact that a long time ago, as literacy spread, bothered many critics), in the way that recordings of musical performances are one degree away from the reality of the performances and photographs of works of art are one degree away from the works themselves.

Maybe it’s too much to read into Zippy, but he can be seen as welcoming (after a long period of resistance and nostalgia for the old ways, chronicled in postings on this blog) new media of expression and means of action as having their own virtues.

One Response to “Actual vs. virtual”

  1. The Dingburg book districts « Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] “Actual vs. virtual” (AZBlog 2/20/11) […]

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