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Is it live?

Growing up I remember seeing the Memorex commercials with Ella Fitzgerald where she would sing some impossibly high note have it recorded and the show a wine glass shattering while the viewer heard the high note with the tag line “Is it live or is it Memorex” leaving us to wonder was she singing live or did the recorded sound break the glass. It makes me think of going to see a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman some years ago. We arrived early and felt lucky to get seats close to the stage in hopes of getting good views of the guests and Dave himself. Once seated we waited for the show to begin and noticed the large amount of video monitors in our view. It seems that once the show started the cameras and staff were almost constantly blocking our view making us rely on the monitors to see what was happening.
Recently I heard an interview with the IT director of the Barclay center, the new arena in Brooklyn. He was going about how they have a new app that can be accessed only in the center allowing people access views from all the many cameras on the court around the arena. He went on to say that you can use this app to access views from around the arena, from different angles even play backs of recent plays to see if the referee made the right call. This app works through out the arena so that you could be waiting in line to buy beer and still watch the game on your tablet or phone.
It made me think about what now will pass as a live experience. If are in the same room as an event and watching it on a monitor what is the difference if we are there or hundreds of miles away? How much do we lose when live is replaced by virtual and will virtual replace a live experience? Will seeing a movie about China be the same as being there and are we really seeing it if we only see it on the screen of our laptop as we post images of what we are “seeing”
Ella-Fitzgerald-memorex

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