Re: [Videolib] TNBT - Good enough is the new Great

From: Dennis Doros <milefilms@gmail.com>
Date: Tue Dec 15 2009 - 12:46:53 PST

Gee, Deg, this makes me feel like I should go back to selling cigarettes in
Irvington/Newark, NJ! :-)

Just one thing to say. 35mm has been a standard for 100+ years. 16mm was a
standard for almost 75 years. From around 1912 on, you can play just about
any feature on any projector. Prints were $2000 to $5,000 and they could be
scratched, torn, warped or turn into vinegar or nitrate dust, but they were
playable for decades. And, though not the Luddite that Jessica is, I still
have my collection of prints and projectors.

I know it's understandable that new technologies is frustrating (and trust
someone who has to read all the specs and know the difference between HD-Cam
SR 1080i 23.98 and HD-Cam SR 1080p 24) but there is one thing to note
through all this madness.

I remember the days when television looked like muddy crap, that TV
engineers would spend a day coming up with insulting reverse-acronyms for
NTSC (not too saturated color is the most printable) and that people were
yelling for a move to something as good as the PAL system in Europe.

I was the first to admit that the movement from VHS to Laserdisc (or worse,
the RCA needle system) was basically crap since the picture and sound
remained analog. But there was a definite improvement in quality from VHS to
DVD. From VHS or Umatic releases for $1000 (for educational) and $89.95 (for
home VHS -- with crappy masters of features with a trailers of other films
you'd never want to see added on) to restored video masters from original
negatives with documentaries and commentaries was a good thing. HD
television and Blu Ray is more than doubling the definition of the image
from the ol' NTSC days.

Now, there is organic plasma televisions (swear to god, see
http://www.oledbuyingguide.com/oled-tv-articles/oled-tv-vs-plasma-tv.html)
and soon there will be super-high digital 4K+ television systems. This may
be nightmares for collections, but it's not selling snake oil. There are
real technological breakthroughs. For instance, the NY Times this week had
an article about a new hand replacement that is truly bionic -- it reads the
muscles from your arm/wrist and moves, stretches and grabs almost like the
real thing. Now, in ten years, I know that this is going to look like the
hand from a Ken doll, but wouldn't you grasp at it, so to speak, if you
needed one?

If school budgets were any good and the population had a real desire to
sacrifice a percentage of their paychecks for better education, this
wouldn't be the headache it now is. That's the real problem.

Dennis

On Tue, Dec 15, 2009 at 3:15 PM, Deg Farrelly <deg.farrelly@asu.edu> wrote:

> Thanx Gary for a new acronym! And I think you are completely correct with
> using the word "foist"
>
> I'm not a luddite. I think that many of the tech advances of the past few
> years are great. But there is definitely an element of planned obsolescence
> and hucksterism in the way some technologies are advanced and pushed on the
> consumer.
>
> I recall reading a severe criticism of Toshiba (I think) several years ago
> when they "donated" DVD players to public libraries. That of course created
> a demand for the libraries to buy DVDs, and the patrons, to use the DVDs, to
> buy players. All masked in the cloak of philanthropy, but completely
> self-serving.
>
> It's not that consumers clamored for better DVD players. But now that
> Blu-Ray DVD players have hit a price point, that's what they will buy (as
> some have pointed out, why not, as they are backward compatible. But soon
> that's ALL the consumer will be able to buy.
>
> In addition to the article on Blu-Ray player sales, last Sunday the NYT
> magazine ran an article of the best new ideas of the year. One of those is
> the notion that "Good Enough is the new Great" It's based on Robert Capps
> article "The Good Enough Revolution" from _Wired _, September 2009, Vol. 17,
> No 9, Page 110.
>
> For those that don't have access to the NYT Magazine here is the entry
> paragraph for the article and the summary of "Good Enough":
>
> Once again, The Times Magazine looks back on the past year from our favored
> perch: ideas. Like a magpie building its nest, we have hunted eclectically,
> though not without discrimination, for noteworthy notions of 2009 - the
> twigs and sticks and shiny paper scraps of human ingenuity, which, when
> collected and woven together, form a sort of cognitive shelter, in which the
> curious mind can incubate, hatch and feather. Unlike birds, we can also
> alphabetize. And so we hereby present, from A to Z, the most clever,
> important, silly and just plain weird innovations we carried back from all
> corners of the thinking world.
>
> Good Enough is the New Great
> "Cheap, fast, simple tools are suddenly everywhere," Robert Capps of Wired
> magazine wrote this summer in an essay called "The Good-Enough Revolution."
> Companies that had focused mainly on improving the technical quality of
> their products have started to notice that, for many consumers, "ease of
> use, continuous availability and low price" are more important.
>
> High-definition televisions have turned every living room into a home
> cinema, yet millions of us choose to watch small, blurry videos on our
> computers and our mobile devices. Cameras capture images in a dozen
> megapixels, yet Flickr is filled with snapshots taken with phone cameras
> that we can neither focus nor zoom. And at war, a country that has a fleet
> of F-16 fighter jets that can cover 1,500 miles an hour is now using more
> and more remote-controlled Predator drones that are powered by snowmobile
> engines.
>
> Lo-fi solutions are now available for a range of problems that couldn't be
> solved with high-tech tools. Music played from a compact disc is of higher
> quality than what comes out of an iPod - but you can't easily carry 4,000
> CDs with you on the subway or to the gym. Similarly, a professional
> television camera will produce a higher-quality image than a phone, but when
> something important happens, from the landing of a jet on the Hudson River
> to the murder of an Iranian protester, and there are no TV cameras around,
> images recorded on phones are good enough.
>
> In February, a music professor at Stanford, Jonathan Berger, revealed that
> he has found evidence that younger listeners have come to prefer lo-fi
> versions of rock songs to hi-fi ones. For six years, Berger played different
> versions of the same rock songs to his students and asked them to say which
> ones they liked best. Each year, more students said that they liked what
> they heard from MP3s better than what came from CDs. To a new generation of
> iPod listeners, rock music is supposed to sound lo-fi. Good enough is now
> better than great. ROBERT MACKEY
>
>
> We have been seeing other evidence of this acceptance of "good enough" in
> students for some time. (Herbert Simon coined the term "satisficing" ) With
> regard to student expectations for research, it doesn't have to be the BEST
> resources for their papers, just "good enough"
>
> -deg farrelly (who still uses VHS to record "view and erase" cr*p from TV)
>
>
> --
> deg farrelly, Associate Librarian
> Arizona State University at the West campus
> PO Box 37100
> Phoenix, Arizona 85069-7100
> Phone: 602.543.8522
> Email: deg.farrelly@asu.edu
>
>
> VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues
> relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control,
> preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and
> related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective
> working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication
> between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and
> distributors.
>

-- 
Best,
Dennis Doros
Milestone Film & Video/Milliarium Zero
PO Box 128
Harrington Park, NJ 07640
Phone: 201-767-3117
Fax: 201-767-3035
email: milefilms@gmail.com
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VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.
Received on Tue Dec 15 12:47:30 2009

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