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The Analog Underground

A new generation of digital apostates rejects zeroes and ones in favor of celluloid, vinyl, ink, paper, and the click-clack-ding-slide of a typewriter.

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In a world of e-this and i-that, where a product like the Flip camera can go from market-dominating hit to discontinued relic in a matter of months, it’s only natural that there’d exist a neo-Luddite counterculture. This loosely allied network of artists, tinkerers, and the merely tech-weary aren’t ditching their iPhones or boycotting Facebook just yet, but they are seeking a slower, more hands-on way of doing things. Instead of downloading mp3s by the thousand, they’re combing the bins at once-endangered record stores. In lieu of Tweeting their every errant thought, they’re snail-mailing actual typewritten letters. It’s a dinosaur’s approach, to be sure, born out of nostalgia and faddism and an idiosyncratic desire to unplug from our overly digitized existence. But there’s obvious appeal in being a (very) late adopter: “Analog objects seem like new technologies to those who have never experienced them,” says Bill Moggridge, director of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. What follows is a primer on the anti-tech bubble: the antiquarians toeing the front line, the parties and meet-ups where they go to socialize, and the stores and flea-market stalls where they unearth their obsolete treasures.

ClassesAnalog Renaissance
The stores, parties, meetups, and classes devoted to all things non-digital.
Yoga MovesAnalog Imposters
Next-gen gadgets with a last-gen look.
TreatmentsOld Souls
Seven analog obsessives explain their allegiance to outdated technology.
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