In his new book, “The Revenge of Analog: Real Things and Why They Matter,” author David Sax documents the resurgence of technologies many of us had written off as dead and buried, such as vinyl records (and the stores that sell them), actual books (not just digital versions), and pens and worn notebooks (for capturing ideas and finding inspiration). He cites startling statistics and anecdotes as evidence for this comeback, such as that the number of vinyl records being pressed and sold has increased tenfold since 2006, and that even high-tech visionaries, when they sit down to meet with him, whip out moleskin notebooks—not smartphones—when it comes time to give form to a fleeting concept.
Mr. Sax is quick to point out that this re-emergence isn’t an affectation: People, many of them young, are choosing to use these older technologies because they appreciate the concrete benefits they bring. About these users he writes, “They are incredibly forward thinking and innovative, and use every tool at their disposal—online crowdfunding, social media, design software, smartphones—to bring analog goods and services to market. They aren’t pushing the digital world away. Rather, they’re pulling the analog one closer, and using its every advantage to succeed.”
“Using its every advantage to succeed.” This sounds like a cataract surgeon eyeing a new device: Whether it’s new or old, if it works well, it’s going to be used.
Surgeons have always had a critical eye regarding new technology—they’re inundated with too many new choices not to. In this month’s cataract surgery issue, they take on many of their specialty’s newest technologies, and, similar to Mr. Sax’s book, in many cases discuss how they stack up against their old methods.
In Christopher Kent’s article on outcomes of femtosecond laser-assisted cataract surgery—the standard-bearer for ophthalmic high technology—expert surgeons break down this new modality and discuss its pros and cons relative to what they currently do. The questions they ponder are echoed by many of their colleagues.
In pharmaceuticals, too, surgeons are faced with new choices. Though the technology used in dropless and less-drops surgery isn’t new, the ideas behind them are, as Senior Associate Editor Kristine Brennan found out while speaking to surgeons about the pros and cons of this emerging approach to postop infection and inflammation prevention.
Intraocular lens technology is just as critical to your outcomes as your cataract-removal equipment. With that in mind, Associate Editor Liam Jordan lays out the data from three new toric IOLs, accompanied by advice from the experts who use them.
Here’s hoping these articles get you thinking about your technologies, both old and new, and what benefits they offer your practice. (Though you can probably leave the Betamax in the attic.)
— Walter Bethke, Editor in Chief