My level of understanding is probably best described as being able to identify things as "some Kansai shit":
And clearly, there's no text on this page...but images are text, and I wanna keep talking about my Holme/Baker Street Irregulars stuff from earlier this month. <3_____<3
My Question: lol why does this guy have such a modern-looking speaker when it's supposed to be the fin de siecle in the human world??
(and omg, look at all the jazz records he brought back! look at his little face creams on the shelf! what! adorable)
What I've Decided Is My Answer: Speakers didn't look like that in the human world at the time, but electrodynamic loudspeakers were in the works. The tech, or the beginnings of it, existed--but there were limitations to the idea, and to the sound quality, that human science hadn't yet figured out. However, Shinji clearly has a fascination with records, with jazz, with burgeoning human cultures in general. Maybe he saw where it could go. Maybe he brought his records and the idea of a speaker back to Soul Society, and commissioned someone to bridge the gap between turn of the century human tech and its aspiration--but bridged with spirit particles, not electricity, since 1) that's what everything is powered by and made of in Soul Society, and 2) it's not burgeoning tech; it's well understood and can be expertly manipulated. This speaker exists as an expansion/translation of a human idea, to suit Soul Society's needs.
But cultural flows like this are piecemeal, highly individualized, and there's not really a culture of adopting/adapting human ideas into shinigami life, excepting in the cases of your resident iconoclasts. Shinigami live long lives and change is slow. So you end up with pockets of weirdness where even in 2000 all official records are handwritten but one division has mainframes and PCs with GUIs; and one guy has an old-timey camera but others have modern 35mm. There's cotton candy and shave ice but no one's ever had cake. Juiceboxes are a foreign concept but cellphones have served as blueprints for shinigami denreishinki. The entire society has somehow never shifted from an Edo-style model and they're still in the process of bringing over human New Year's traditions, but half the divisions have like, IKEA furniture.
GAH. IT'S ALL SO WEIRD AND DELIGHTFUL. Cryptoanthro(?)pology is my favorite anthropology. Same with anthropomorphic cars. Same with angels. Amazing!
And that's the story of how I've spent hours on a page that didn't even have text, so suffice to say this will probably keep me entertained for a while, hahaha.