Sep 22, 2022 • 41M

Tech-nostalgia: Imprecise yearnings for our future's past.

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The Twelve Inquiries
Welcome to The 12 Inquiries, a year-long conversation between two friends about 12 topics that interest us. You could call it a monthly salon, though that sounds a little grandiose. We hope you’ll join us in the conversation. Who knows, maybe we’ll become friends. Each conversation will take place over a month. We’ll publish an introductory newsletter and podcast episode the first week of each month. During the second week, we’ll host a live conversation on Twitter Spaces with guests. On the third week, we’ll publish a short recap of what we learned, and respond to questions and comments we receive. During the fourth week, we rest. Well, really, we prepare for the next month’s inquiry.
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“Technology is a glittering lure.” - Don Draper

The satisfying click of opening a flip phone.

The seemingly limitless possibilities of “Surfing the web.”

The sense of triumph after burning a perfect mix on a CD for someone

Rip. Mix. Burn. Dead? | Philip Elmer‑DeWitt

or the joy of a carefully curated iPod with its astonishing 1000 songs in your pocket.

Welcome to this third episode of The Twelve Inquiries, where we explore our nostalgia for technology that has come, gone, or sometimes just evolved to something else entirely. We remain gleeful early adopters, exploring software, new hardware, and the occasional unforeseen impact it has on ourselves. Yet, we just as easily fondly remember trips to Blockbuster video and taping songs off the radio.

So join us in remembering when blogging was cool before it became uncool and then cool again. Before self-portraits became selfies and doom scrolling was a thing. Tell us what technology you miss the most – either in the comment section below or by writing to us at

We will also be hosting a Twitter Space on October 6 at 11 a.m. CST, joined by Sara M. Watson, a brilliant technology critic whose writing appears in publications like The AtlanticWiredBusiness Insider, and The Washington Post, along with Grafton Tanner, author of “The Hours Have Lost Their Clock: The Politics of Nostalgia.”