Thanks for your informative analysis of the environmental loads generated by current semiconductor production practices. I agree with it entirely, but note that the general flexibility of digital technology in encoding image and sound reduces the need to introduce environmental additional loads from the manufacturing and processing of film.
Since many companies have developed technology to write digital image data to regular color paper, the loads from print processing may remain the same.
Regarding the expression and comparability of analog and digital image attribute and quality metrics, I agree with you on this too - it is a mess and requires revisiting the underlying mathematical bases of things like Gamma, Contrast Index, &c. A number of us are planning on addressing this and related issues at the upcoming IS&T Archiving 2006 Conference in Ottawa (http://www.imaging.org/conferences/archiving2006/).
Ronald J. Murray MLIS
Digital Conversion Specialist
Preservation Reformatting Division
Library of Congress
101 Independence Avenue SE MS-4550
Washington DC 20540
>>> [log in to unmask] 01/21/06 11:38 PM >>>
Ronald Murray wrote:
>As archivists and preservationists, we need to look past our current affection for an existing medium (even one that possessed notable toxicities and environmental loads), and recall that our jobs are to deal with what comes - or will come - in the door as well as what is presently in the archives.
Nothing personal, but as archivists and preservationists we owe it to
ourselves not to be self-deluded into thinking digital is an less toxic
than the photochemical processes it is replacing. We need to
acknowledge that computer manufacturing generates a HUGE amount of toxic
waste as a by product and when
Just because you are not directly handling chemicals when you type on a
keyboard or manipulate a digital document, it doesn't mean culpability
for utilizing this technology disappears when the computer is
manufactured or disposed of when upgrading.
Out of sight does not mean "not responsible"; digital is NOT a clean
process for the Earth.
Here is a good article to start with:
a quote from this article..."
"When multiplied against the billion of chips manufactured worldwide,
the consequent consumption of fossil fuels necessary just to [provide]
the power is enormous," wrote Katharine Mieszkowski in a Nov. 13
"Then, during chip manufacturing, the wafers are repeatedly doped with
chemicals, rinsed with ultra-pure water to remove impurities, etched,
rinsed again and doped with more chemicals."
Other writers have documented
contaminated streams and aquifers in Silicon Valley, which is home to
more EPA Superfund sites than any other county in the nation. But
another woeful manifestation of semiconductor toxicity has been the
health risks in so-called "clean rooms," where high tech workers amble
into direct contact with a variety of potent chemicals. Companies such
as IBM and chemical supplier Union Carbide have been hit in recent years
with lawsuits alleging unusually high cancer rates in clean rooms."
>It's hard to imagine now the sentiments for a medium that I see in this listserv could have arisen without a personal familiarity and involvement with the media under discussion. For a moment, however, imagine how photographers experiencing the onset of modern film technology must have felt, since they would have been - like us - smack in the middle of a transitional time. That *our* transitional time is being ushered in by many of the same parties who nudged many previous photographic processes to the side should be telling us something essential.
Yes, transitions hurt and I, like many others feel the pain of loosing a
tried, true (and often superior) medium, but I am not languishing on my
fainting couch, grasping a bottle of smelling salts! ;-) I move
forward like everyone else, but I reserve the right to point out the
>Our jobs now should now be seen as incorporating a coming-to-terms with the rapidly-developing digital imaging technologies. This task is better understood by someone who: actively uses those technologies; interacts with the technology builders (color accuracy metrics & archival color standards, anyone?); and by understanding the ideas upon which the technology rests.
What irks me is the digital crowd often redefines existing terminology
that has a definite meaning in the film world, like GAMMA, for instance,
and creates a tower of babble needlessly. (grumble, grumble)
>If we can get Ostwald Ripening, we can get array and wavelet image representations and colorspace specifications.
>P.S. The Orwo-centric rear-guard action proposed by Busche seems like an excellent idea, and - if executed with a real commitment (pay the Orwo people, please, don't just give lip service) - might help place film technology in the same persistence category as print-out paper and other superseded, wonderful, photographic processes.