A short but interesting article I just read:
To quote the article's summarizing rhetorical question, "What is [the deal] with [this fad of] adopting long forgotten technology that doesn’t work very well?"
Personally, I'm all for nostalgia and aesthetics. I really am. But I have to balance that with practicality and convenience. It's a personal choice where to draw that line. Even for the same person, the line is going to be in a different place when it comes to different things. I can think of plenty of albums that I bought on cassette back in the 80s, but have long since re-bought on CD and now listen to as mp3s which I personally ripped from those CDs. Why? Convenience! I like being able to carry my entire music collection in my pocket. I do NOT miss the days of having cassettes getting "eaten" by players, having to fast-forward and flip the tape after side 1 was done, and painfully trying to narrow down my cassette collection to a case of 30 tapes to take with me on vacation. If there's some sacrifice I'm making in aesthetics or audio quality, it sure hasn't stopped me from enjoying the music.
Granted, it can be fun to tinker with an old piece of technology and get it running for curiosity's sake. I was just at a party a few weekends ago where we listened to 78rpm records on a hand-crank turntable. It was fun, but I'd never want to do that as my sole means of hearing music, just as I wouldn't want to use an IBM PC Jr. and Word Perfect 1.0 to write this document. If you're going out of your way to watch most movies in BetaMax, or to use a quill for everyday writing, then at that point it seems to me like you're just inconveniencing yourself out of pretentiousness.
It's also not hard to relate this back to the topic of clutter.
Technology has given us movies and music in smaller and smaller-sized
media. We've reached the point where one can, ideally, keep his or her
entire music, movie, and book collection on a single hard drive. Granted, I'm not going to do that myself; I still like having physical collections of CDs of the bands I'm loyal to, and most of the books I read are mathematics books whose e-book equivalents simply don't have the equations and symbols rendered correctly. But when you have an entire wall o' stuff that you seemingly never touch, whether it's books, records, cassettes, etc., it's worth asking "Can I afford to store or get rid of at least SOME of this?"