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August 1993

The Archives and the Compression Generation

Author Affiliations

Associate Publisher AMA Specialty Journals

Arch Dermatol. 1993;129(8):1024-1025. doi:10.1001/archderm.1993.01680290096015

IF THERE is a single phenomenon that characterizes today's society, it is the explosion of information in our lives. The global village created by television (TV) will seem like a collection of primitive huts compared with the emerging world of fiberoptic highways, data compression, hypertext, and virtual reality. Soon palm-sized personal computers will interact with your telephone and TV monitor to provide instant access to an inexhaustible array of data. These breathtaking changes in communications technologies are a few years away but one thing is already clear: we will be capable of producing information much faster than we are capable of absorbing it.

Our parents and grandparents who lived through the 1930s were known as the Depression Generation because that was the event that shaped them and their perceptions of the world. We in the late-late 20th century could be called the "Compression Generation." The speed and quantity of our

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