Sideline Music Magazine has announced that by the end of this year most major labels will have abandoned the Compact Disc. Not that this should be a surprise to anyone who has tried looking for a recent release at one of their local outlets. From now on, if you want to buy music, you're going to have to either stream it or download it.
This is also the future of the film industry. And certainly books. Of course, there are those who will go into this future raging against the dying of the light. Johnathan Franzen, for instance, who responded in an interview with The Guardian, "Maybe nobody will care about printed books 50 years from now, but I do. When I read a book, I'm handling a specific object in a specific time and place. The fact that when I take the book off the shelf it still says the same thing – that's reassuring."
Perhaps the most persuasive argument against the digitization of our world is offered by a friend of mine, Jon Zech, author of Buck and Tangee: Things That Happen (a book to be released later this year).
"Some day anthropologists will look at our leavings and wonder what happened. Why did our civilization suddenly stop producing anything artistic after the first decade or so of the twenty first century? One can't conduct carbon testing on bits and bytes. We're all really just one giant electromagnetic pulse away from a new Dark Ages, aren't we?"