Sunday, August 22, 2010
Aka, the 50 Rubbermaid containers full of your past you’ve been keeping for years in the garage? Ain’t worth much beyond sentimental value.
Apparently, I collect tech.* Well, obsolete tech that is. I don’t intend for it to start out that way, but that’s the way it ends up. This was driven home after finally dealing with a garage full of crap we’d kept for far too long from countless moves. The stuff you’ll get to later because you don’t have time for it now.
Well, this week, later was now. Music (vinyl & CDs), computers (Macs), video games (Sega units) or publishing (comic books). Pick a category, I saved it. Hoarding? More like part nostalgia and part investment mindset: “Don’t get rid of it, some day it will be... worth something.”
The point at which it’s worth something seems to be 50 years and older, if local dealers (and the net) are any indication. Just being old isn’t enough though. Based on I what got for what I unloaded, rare is what I needed.
Anything from Blue Note? Like crack. Classic rock like Uncle Ted? Motor City Meh. What you thought it was worth depends on what they’re offering—and you’re willing to let it go for. Providing the final supply and demand kick in the nuts is eBay, which likely has every one of your titles—times 100.
You then ask yourself why you saved all this stuff in the first place. Nostalgia? I can see that. Having something tactile from the past that’s yours to have and hold has meaning. A piece of history, people. But then, putting the tact in tactile, your kid says that if you die tomorrow, they’d give all your stuff away because they don’t want a big pile of stuff to deal with.
It’s there I thought the better thing to do is not to pass on old *stuff*, but to instill a love for a particular art that doesn’t depend on a specific technology to enjoy.
As such, I live in a cloud that I never thought I would, streaming and discovering more bands and films than by any other method I’d used in the past. It’s not that previous generations were or are resistant to change—some are—it’s that most had no choice. I didn’t want to keep spending money on new formats just to access the same music, but what can you do when the industry that created the content also controlled how it was distributed?
I couldn’t know that streaming would be an option when I first started buying CDs. Likewise, I have no idea in 10 years what the music or film landscape will look like. Minority Report-type HUD displays accessing any song or movie at will as you walk around? Not sure.
Whatever it ends up being, I’m still going to keep my Last.fm account. Might be worth something some day.
* For purposes here, I’m defining tech as content synonymous with the media used to experience it.
Posted 8:57 PM