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    Thread: Antiques and the meaning of life

    1. #1
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      Antiques and the meaning of life

      You know, this is something I have been thinking about for quite a long time but I just can't seem to get an answer

      Why do people not make antiques anymore?

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      Because it's not the future yet.

      Is this a joke thread?
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      No itīs quite a serious thread

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      Here's another serious question, then:

      Did people ever make antiques?

      Antiques aren't made by anyone. Time, nostalgia, and a thirst for uniquity define antiques, long after their creators have forgotten they made them. The nature of an antique lies not in what it was when it was made, but in the magic it holds now.

      Perhaps there is some "meaning of life" stuff locked in the nature of antiques after all. Or not; people might just like old crap...
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      I was just joking I asked my little brother this and he said "I don't know", very seriously and when I found out he didn't get it I burst out laughing xD And Sageous thanks for the laugh

      The thing about antiques though. If it was crap, it wouldn't be preserved for 100 years, old wood just looks cool, and it is also cool to have something very old. But I think it's mainly because it is high-quality stuff..

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      ^^ Well, though quality does indeed define plenty of antiques, what about the stuff, like, say tin toys, old records, or ephemera, that had no real value when produced, but are treasured now?

      Joke or not (I did have a feeling it was one, BTW), you might have stumbled upon a curious aspect of human nature, or maybe the thing that makes us Us, that thing being memory.

      Just sayin'...
      Last edited by Sageous; 12-02-2014 at 05:40 AM.

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      Antiques and the meaning of life
      Even if this was suppose to be a a kind of a joke-thread. I just want to say that I have start to get more and more interested in the ancient knowledge and history in general. And Antiques have a great deal of deep symbolic meanings the older it tends to be in many cases. Our history from today will probably be looked back on as an empty shell with little or no meaning at all if there happen to be any stuff left that holds togheter for a 100th year or so. How ever, maybe this is a bit pessimistic view of the modern world today.. I just read a little notice in a so called "newspaper" that scientist somewhere.. have solved the mystery of "Why we tend to spill our coffe more often than our beers...." Future here we come!
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      You are not your thoughts...

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      Joke or not (still not sure), modern day antiques are out there.
      They are simply objects that resist becoming disposable.

      For example, why do I need a working 8track player when it's way more convenient to find music on ANY other format? Why do some people drive cars from the 50's and 60's when many prefer the convenience of brand new?

      Brand new is nice and all, but antique has character.
      It's been around, it has already proven it can withstand the test of time.

      Can the same be said for some of today's most popular conveniences?
      I've never owned a smartphone, but I know enough people to remain unconvinced that they are anything but disposable.


      Spoiler for i'm stuck on letters for some reason:

      My mother got me into antiques, and I think the reason so many people like them is because they feel one of a kind, even if they aren't in reality.

      When you find a good one, it feels almost like coming face to face with an extinct or endangered species.
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      ^^ I can imagine a cottage industry of smart-phone-restorers in 50 years, complete with virtual networks that support the phones' quaint functions.

      But more so, I can imagine a deep nostalgia in 50 years -- or way less -- for the handwritten word. It isn't so much that texting and posting have replaced letter-writing, its that the art and unique value of letter-writing have been left behind, smothered by the convenience of these phones. So hang o to your bundles of pen-pal correspondence; they might be worth something some day!
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      I have a short answer followed by a load of rambling
      Short answer:
      Old things trigger old memories. You don't enjoy looking at the picture of a pretty girl or handsome man nearly as much as the looking at the picture of someone close to you (unless you're horny, which I am, really often xD). Why pictures, can't you just remember it without a picture? I don't know! Our brains are wired that way, objects trigger a bigger emotional response than when we just consciously decide to think about it. So the valuable thing is the memory and not the oldness, I really don't understand why you would buy an antique if it's not for the looks or quality. It really is a simple as simple as that, old things trigger old memories, but this demystification doesn't make it any less enjoyable. To Sageous and acatalephobic, I think that some of the most priceless things we have are lost forever because of those convenient phones, and not just the art or value of writing with the hand.

      Load of rambling:
      People see each other face-to-face less often because they can talk online. Maybe if we didn't have the luxury of chatting, we would have spent more time in the same room and I wouldn't have been distanced from my old friends like I am now. I never really liked chatting or text messaging and calling and now I like it even less. I was about to say I shouldn't complain because this is a side-effect of technology and that the benefits vastly outweigh the negatives, but I won't. Because the day might come that technology corrputs and destroys humanity and humbleness more than it gives it back.

      It's unthinkable to me that hand-writing will ever completely die, at least not for the sensible people of the world. Because it is so much more physical and personal than typing. I enjoy hand-writing as long as I don't get tired, somehow I get some aesthetic pleasure out of it. When I am practicing violin and I gain some insight or idea or observation, I always write it down into my little violin notebook. Even when my laptop wasn't broken I still wrote it down. First, because writing takes more effort and I have more chance of remembering it later on without having to look it up and also it is more fun to look into my notebook than it is to look at a file on a screen. When I am watching a violin masterclass on Youtube, I always get my notebook and lead-pencil to write important stuff down instead of just typing it, while typing is 10 times faster, easier to do and easier to look up, and I have to walk upstairs to get my notebook. Think about writing someone close to you a hand-written letter or poem instead of texting or mailing it. I've sent a few letters for things I wanted to say to my old violin teacher, even though it takes much more effort than mailing. I think some things are even better and more personal to say it in written words than saying it in real life. Often when we go to Turkey kids from here will write and draw stuff on paper to send to their friends in Turkey and vice versa while they could just make a phone call or send a free/instant whatsapp, ping or facebook message.

      So don't worry because memorable people who have memorable things to say will still be doing it by writing it themselves instead of letting a computer do it. Here is a funny little story. Last summer I called a girl I like and said I had to tell her something and it has to be face to face. So we met 20 minutes before her class began to have breakfast at a bakery in front of her university. The time was up and I just couldn't say it, even though she kept asking me, I was too shy and shaking like crazy. She stayed to hear what I had to say, missed a lesson (an important one). She asked if I could send a text message but I found it too impersonal. We sat for about 45 more minutes and after asking it about 10 times she said "alright just write it down and I'll read it later'. But I didn't want that either because it also seemed like a cop-out, my pride wanted me to go the gutsy way. About 5 minutes before the next lesson began I gave up and wrote it down in her notebook. Now, looking back, I think that maybe it was a good thing because she can always read it again.

      I prefer a house that looks old, you know, like it's a house that a family has lived in for 20 years, filled with memories and stuff all over the place. Old stuff, especially wood, has a warm and cozy feeling to it. My dream house wouldn't have that squeeky clean, shiny, white slick look to it. Google "modern living room design" and you'll see what I mean. My dream house would have almost only wood, preferable old. Old looking string instruments in glass cages, to protect it from children and it doesn't have to sound nice, it just has to look old, a nice sounding instrument belongs in the hands of a loving, caring musician. It would have a fireplace.. No glass and no metal. Something that looks like your grandparents' previous house that they left because it was breaking down or had little problems left and right

      I don't care about ancient knowledge and history, except when it's about musicians and cool animals/insects/plants. If I had to choose between two violins of the same price... One was made in 2014 by some guy whose personality I don't like at all and never played on and the other is 300 years old and played on and loved dearly by the greatest musicians of the time throughout the past 3 centuries, they sound almost the same but the new one is just a tiny fraction better in terms of sound or playability, I would still ignore all the sentimental value and pick the new one. But if they sound the same and the new one costs 50 thousand and the old one costs 10 million and I had enough money, I would buy the old one and be very happy and proud. I also enjoy listening to music from my cd player more than hearing it through headphones on the computer. It's a strange thing. Maybe this preference to the old instead of the new stems from a basic survival instinct. Old things are less likely to kill you than new things because old things didn't kill you before

      I wasn't going to write much because I am currently watching this beautiful documentary full of wonderful insights into music and musicians.
      But I ended up saying quite a lot


      Have a nice day



      PS: I was waiting to be punished by a moderator for putting up this joke-thread, but you guys saved me by making it an extended discussion.
      Last edited by Ginsan; 12-03-2014 at 03:17 AM. Reason: horny
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    11. #11
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      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      PS: I was waiting to be punished by a moderator for putting up this joke-thread, but you guys saved me by making it an extended discussion.
      Happy to help; especially on this subject! I do believe you've touched on an interesting subject (and elaborated quite nicely above), a subject that touches on some key philosophical stuff, particularly memory and, yes, quality. Old things can hold a curiously significant place in our lives, in our hearts, and in our identities, I think.

      We define ourselves by our memories, and what better represents a memory than a solid object that harkens back either the old times we remember, or the old times we would like to remember? It's almost like antiques are more real than new objects, perhaps because those new objects simply haven't earned a permanent spot in our memories -- our identities -- yet, regardless of their initial quality.

      Quality does matter, of course, and there is a group of antiques (i.e., Chippendale furniture, Duesenberg cars) whose quality simply transcends the need for nostalgia, but that group, I think, occupies a remarkably small section of the world of antiques. Sometimes the real value of an 80-year-old steel kitchen table originally purchased from a Sears & Roebucks catalog comes from thoughts about all the people who sat at that table, or vague, perhaps fantastical, but definitely cherished memories of the time you spent at a similar table. The power of such a familiar object even transcends that of a high-quality antique (except amybe a Duesenberg ), I think.

      I enjoyed reading your thoughts about handwriting just above, and dearly hope that you are correct... hopefully putting thoughts directly to paper is engrained deeply enough in our nature that we'll never be able to leave it completely behind... assuming of course that the next few generations of parents and schools are still teaching their kids to write by hand...

      Full disclosure: I live in a house that is pushing 200 years of age, and itis filled with all manner of antiques. Old things have always fascinated my wife and me, though our sprees of wanton purchasing are long behind us (oddly, I tend to value the things I make now more than the things I buy, regardless of how superior the quality of the antique may be). But, disclosure aside, I think antiques might hold more keys to the meaning of life -- or at least the nature of our memory, our identities, our Selves -- than might be considered at first glance. Who knows? appreciating or understanding the nature and power of antiques might even make us better LD'ers!

      Interesing stuff, Ginsan; you've given me a lot to think about, even if you were just kidding at first. I'm glad I came on ahead of the mods!

      Last edited by Sageous; 12-03-2014 at 08:23 AM.
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      Hearing that I've given you a lot to think about is a great compliment, since I always saw you as the wise guy, yes, this guy

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      I remember how shocked I was when my grandmother informed me that they don't even teach cursive in elementary schools here anymore.

      Spelling and grammar and even reading comprehension suffers from a lack of writing practice. And cursive was that special extra you added to the final draft of your paper, or your own name in all important matters...achieving a sense of legitimacy that it seemed print rarely could. (Except when it came to artwork, in my case, always printed that).

      Print is king now. Typing in large part has replaced writing, and therefore cursive becomes merely a typeface used when you're feeling extra fancy.

      I've had a computer almost all my life but I always had a thing for typewriters. And there were a few times that the printer had no ink, so I used a typewriter for the final draft of school papers. Teachers would universally remark in some way that they had been excited just by the sight of them.

      There is no spelling or grammar check however, and any editing left visible evidence, so you had to really bring your writing A game when using one.
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      ^^ Yep, handwriting (and typing, to a lesser or perhaps different degree) has an inherent element of quality that is nonexistent in computer print... it would be a shame to see them go. Are we already waxing nostalgic, here, about the antiquity of the handwritten word? Hmm.

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      I've also always liked slurring letters instead of writing them apart. I don't understand why everyone goes for the ease and clarity of writing every letter apart while slurring letters is so much more aesthetic. I've never used a typewriter before but I always thought it had a cool sound If I'll ever write an autobiography I would probably make the first version by hand, and then I would make a copy by typewriter just for the fun of it. But how do you edit it? Do you use something like Typex?

      By the way, it's really worrying to hear that elementary schools throw hand-writing out of the window.. Come one teachers!! Grow some bains, what the hell is more fun than learning to write for the first time! When a 10 year old had a good hand-writing he or she was the cool kid in class, even I am proud when I write something that looks good.
      Last edited by Ginsan; 12-03-2014 at 09:49 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      I would probably make the first version by hand, and then I would make a copy by typewriter just for the fun of it. But how do you edit it? Do you use something like Typex?
      .
      I don't know what Typex is, but the idea is to really have all your editing done before you start...as you proposed. You could use whiteout if needed, but better to avoid mistakes as much as possible.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ginsan View Post
      By the way, it's really worrying to hear that elementary schools throw hand-writing out of the window.. Come one teachers!! Grow some bains, what the hell is more fun than learning to write for the first time! When a 10 year old had a good hand-writing he or she was the cool kid in class, even I am proud when I write something that looks good.
      Not ALL handwriting of course, just cursive handwriting. Not super important I guess, just a train of thought. I slur my letters as well, but more for convenience than aesthetic.
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      I'm reading on the internet about cursive vs normal hand writing and the main argument seems to be that cursive is harder to read. That's a pretty bad argument.. I admit it's easier to read but I hate writing that way, it has a really hectic and chaotic feeling, my hand feels like a hammer

      EDIT: a hammer out of control
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      ^^ I think the dropping of teaching cursive is probably more a symptom of the U.S.'s extremely ailing education system, and not some rational decision about the value of cursive writing to students. Handwriting skills simply do not fit into the No Child Left Behind program, so there are no tests for which schools are required to prepare their students... and nothing these days is done without a mind to those national test scores (and the government funding they generate). Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if printing skills also disappear as a school subject eventually.

      Hmm... forget ephemera; it could be that handwriting itself might be an antique of the future. Given what we've been saying about it here, that seems to be a real "meaning of life" tale in itself.
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      Sageous what do you mean? "that seems to be a real "meaning of life" tale in itself."
      Also, I hate it when achievements are measured by these silly things like statistics and scores and little facts, you know? Things that sound good when you say it. But this is almost never the way to go.. I hope you understand what I mean, because I really don't feel like elaborating
      Last edited by Ginsan; 12-05-2014 at 04:10 AM.

    20. #20
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      ^^ What do I mean? Just that, given the intrinsic value of simple handwriting to our very natures (it's one of the things that makes us us, after all), and the fact that handwriting is as basic and ancient a skill for nonverbal communication as there is, I wonder if modern society's systematic elimination of it from our lives might prove to erase more than just an inefficient writing tool from our lives, or our children's lives.

      The ability to write down our thoughts or needs has been a defining tool of himanity for almost as long as there have been humans... will the ability to press keys (probably mostly icons and not letters, eventually) on a screen really hold the same meaning to future generations whose members can't even write -- or perhaps read -- their own names? I could be wrong, but it seems to me the more you look into this subject, the more it seems to poke at the very core of our being, prhaps hinting at some corollary of that meaning of life.
      Last edited by Sageous; 12-05-2014 at 05:48 AM.
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