[LMB] OT: Generation Change, was Fun

Elizabeth Holden azurite at rogers.com
Sun Apr 5 15:56:42 BST 2009

--- On Sat, 4/4/09, Raye Johnsen <raye_j at yahoo.com> wrote:

> As someone who has seen most of these developments happen
> in her lifetime, Mum sees each thing that we have (or no
> longer have) as progress.  Consequently, to her, ...
> this isn't ageist or condescending as much as it is,
> "Wooh, look how far we've come in such a short
> time!"

That's the way I took it - I'm six years younger than your mother.

My mother (born 1914, died 1982) used to say that as far as she was concerned, the greatest invention in her lifetime was kleenex.

Reading over the list Paula posted of innovations and changes since 1980, it struck me that most of them are trivial even when I use them all the time - with the whopping exception of the PC and the Net, and videtotaping, which have made a big difference to my life.  Medical advances have made a difference, as well, though more to those I care for than to myself. (The illness I get tend to be untreatable things. Even now. Drat.)

It also brought to mind the things I wished would have happened, and which I expected to happen, but which haven't. Like effective urban transit.  Like pollution controls. Like a cure for nicotine addiction, HIV or cancer.  I thought when I was in my teens that the world was changing for the better - 'make love not war', manned exploration of space, less starvation.  Instead, we have more war than ever, more pollution, more prudery, and ... Well, I'm still idealistic, and I still hope for the future.  Much as I love my iPod, it's just another way of listening to music.  Much as I love my microwave, it's just another way of cooking.

On the other hand, broadband net service and cable TV have brought the whole planet into my living room.

When I was 12, I thought civilization wouldn't make it as far as the 21st century. I thought war, overpopulation, economic collapse and toxic pollution would get us first.  Yet here we are, 2009, and muddling along with hope in the air.


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