Our media don't deserve our mediums

When our computers became more affordable and more people started to use them, the software on these devices was designed to reflect the paradigms of that time.

Computers were beneficial for office work, and this is reflected in the terminology use(d) in the operating systems: we have desktops, folders, and windows. It's also reflected in the things we did with them: we write documents, make presentations and do accounting work.

This is — of course — natural. Using existing paradigms help speed up adoption; it's skeuomorphism on an abstract level. Fast forward a few decennia where the computing power in our pockets greatly exceeds anything in the past, but the majority of our media is yet to be released from the chains of their past.

Our word processors divide our work into pages that resemble a piece of physical paper, despite the slim chance of them ever being printed. The music we stream is released on albums, despite no-one owning a cd-player. Our screens allow for infite expansion in virtually any direction, yet most of the internet is a collection of top-to-bottom content divided in pages.

I'm not sure what's next. What I am sure of is that our media don't deserve the capabilities that our mediums (already) give us. This is a thought I've had for a few years now, that I can't seem to shake.

When Kanye's The Life of Pablo was released in 2016, he made many iterations on it in the months following the official release. The lack of a phyiscal copy of the album enables this kind of iterative approach that I hoped would spark some artists to start exploring different ways of releasing their music together with the platforms, but alas.

End of thought, for now.