Happy Friday! This week I was thinking about how the pace of change continues to accelerate. Things that, not so long ago, were pretty commonplace have been relegated to the dustbin of history. While this can makes me feel a little old, it might just provide some interesting tales to my grandchildren about growing up in the dark ages. Here are a few of them.
When I had to write a paper for school, I had to go to this strange called a “library” where they had rows after rows of things called “books.” To find the information you were looking for you consulted something called a “card catalog” that had secret information in this old code that no one understood called the Dewey Decimal System. If you were looking for more recent information you had to ask for the great and mystical “Readers Guide to Periodical Literature” and then hope the library had the shiny book-like thing called a “magazine” that you were looking for. Then when you found the information you had to write it on little pieces of paper called “note cards” and then use the cards to help you write the paper. When I was in college, I had to write papers using something called a “typewriter” which is kind of like a computer/printer without a screen to see what you wrote before you printed it and you had to be careful because it you made a mistake, there was no backspace key, you had to start over on that page.
When I needed to go someplace that I had never been before, I had to use this thing called a “map” that was like a giant picture of roads and streets. You had to be very careful with maps because once you unfolded them, they could never folded back exactly the same way twice. And the tricky thing was the map did not talk to you, telling you were to turn or when you would arrive.
We had a different way to remember things back then. People used this thing called a “calendar” that had a different page for every month. There were small calendars that could fit in a purse, there were bigger calendars that would hand on a wall. Busy, important people had calendars about the size of a tablet called a “Franklin Planner.” You would use something called a “pen” to actually write in the secret code of cursive on the calendar and then you had to look at it regularly to remember what you needed to do. It did not beep or flash to remind you.
When I wanted to communicate with a friend who did not live close I would send them something called a “letter.” It was kind of like a Tweet only a lot longer and slower. You would write what you wanted to say on one or more sheets of paper, fold them up put them in something called an “envelope”, put a stamp on it and put in a box at the front of your house. An official government employee would come card and take the envelope out of the box and pass it through a number of other government employees until it got to the box at my friend’s house several days later. Then my friend would read my letter and write one back to me. So to send a message and get a reply took 7 -10 days. The nice thing was there was no limit to how long the letter could be, plus you could keep them, I still have some letters that I received over forty years ago.
Thought for the Week
Enjoy when you can, and endure when you must. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe