A Man is Amazed by an Old Thing

Click here and listen to a recording of Ernest Shackleton telling a story from one of his expeditions to the South Pole. The audio was recorded in 1910 on a wax cylinder. Now, you can listen to it in all its digital glory.

ernest_shackleton_1908

Besides amazing the dungarees off me, this recording reminds me of the relative costs and benefits of different media. A wax cylinder can exist in more or less the same condition for 109 years. But it’s confined to one place. A digital recording can travel the world, but will probably be lost, corrupted, or obsolete a decade from now.