The Tyranny of Inexorable Technological Change
Over the years, the NEW OXFORD REVIEW has had some portentous things to say about the juggernaut of technology. For example, many of the persons listed on our masthead have, in these pages and/or elsewhere, sounded the alarm: we think especially of Sheldon Vanauken, Walker Percy, John Lukacs, Juli Loesch, Christopher Lasch, Peter Kreeft, Christopher Derrick, James J. Thompson Jr., and James G. Hanink.
It can therefore only be poetic injustice that the NOR has now fallen victim to the dictates of technological obsolescence.
We’ve known for a while that our old, rickety IBM composer (on which we set type for the magazine and on which we did regular subscriber list maintenance) would have to be replaced by January 1, 1990, because replacement parts will no longer be made after that date. Why is this? Because technological progress declared that machine — and any comparable machine — to be obsolete.
Worse still, disaster struck earlier than anticipated, and we lost the “luxury” of waiting until January 1, 1990, to replace our old composer with our first computer. Here’s what happened:
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