M. SCOTT MORRIS: Riding the good ship Old Media

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

Last year, I saw a magnificent yacht pull up to the dock of a Florida night spot.
Letters lit up in a digital shade of electric blue labeled the vessel as the Algorithm.
I don’t know exactly what an algorithm is. It has to do with computers, and it made the owner of that boat a heaping pile of cash.
At some point, the owner must have stood on the leading edge of modern technology. He might still be there, but the push toward the next big thing is relentless. All that money might’ve made him too soft for the innovation game.
There’s a good chance you’re reading this in paper form, though some check out my column at DJournal.com.
This is old media.
And we should give it some respect: Old Media.
If you’re looking for older media, it’s a guy on a street corner screaming his lungs out.
We ink-stained wretches go way back, but the folks on the technological frontier don’t care.
Many of them have stopped printing out tech manuals. If you want to operate the latest gadget, go online for the digital instructions.
Paper and ink are messy. Digital is clean. Digital is simple. Digital is now. Digital is the future.
It should be noted that I’m not afraid of the future. Everything will turn out fine, eventually.
My concern is for the transition from now until then. Forces have been unleashed, and they’re not necessarily friendly to my brothers and sisters in Old Media.
But I remain fascinated by what’s next on the horizon, and wonder how much cool stuff I’ll get to play with before my time on earth comes to an end.
I’ve heard about 3D printers, which can fabricate a spatula or a thermometer, whatever you need at the time.
It’s going to be a while before I can afford one, but it sounds like fun, especially if it could make whiskey and handguns. Talk about a family reunion.
But I digress.
From my Old Media perch, which tends to sway in the changing winds, I’m fascinated by the possibilities, if a little concerned about my place in the world that is to come.
Rather than the good ship Algorithm, I sometimes think about the Titanic, imagining myself looking around in slack-jawed wonder at the gorgeous stars above, as the ship slips below the sea.
Of course, I always imagine myself as a Titanic survivor, and like to think of myself as an Old Media survivor.
No matter how far into the future we go, people will want their antiques, their touch points to the past. With any luck, I’ll be around to serve that purpose.
Then again, I might find myself serving drinks and heavy hors d’oeurves on some Titan of the Future’s yacht.
But that’s only if I can keep my mouth shut, which has always been a problem for me.
M. SCOTT MORRIS Is a Daily Journal feature writer. Contact him at (662) 678-1589 or scott.morris@journalinc.com.

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