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Old December 1st, 2014, 10:24 AM   #1

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How has the world changed since you were born?


What has changed since you were born? It struck me this is a really interesting question, if we look at the world on the day each of us was born we see history unfold. I'll go first.

I was born in April 1987. At that time, there were no mobile phones. There was no internet. Our house didn't have a personal computer. We didn't even have a television (although that was by deliberate choice, not by necessity). On our street, one of the houses was still using coal for heating, and there was a lorry that used to come by delivering coal to that house. The songs in the charts at that time were:

1). La isla bonita - Madonna
2). With or without you - U2
3). Heartache - Pepsi and Sherlie
4). You gotta fight for your right to party - Beastie boys

Just a few days after I was born, The Simpsons cartoon first appears as a series of shorts on The Tracey Ullman Show, 19 April 1987. Also in the news in April 1987, Margaret Thatcher, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, is given a 45-minute interview on television in the Soviet Union. In June, during a visit to Berlin, Germany, U.S. President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Meanwhile closer to home, just a few weeks earlier, one of the deadliest maritime disasters in recent history had just taken place: the cross-channel ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsized off Zeebrugge harbor in Belgium, and 180 people drowned.

Away from the public sphere, our town is a drab place called LLanbradach, in a valley surrounded by mountains covered in ferns and pine forest. Our family does a lot of walking in the nearby hills, although one day a few years later a big road will be built across the land that we walk on.

What about you? How have things changed since you were born? Does your home town look different now? What songs were around at that time? What was popular? What was happening in the world?

Last edited by RoyalHill1987; December 1st, 2014 at 10:27 AM.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 10:29 AM   #2

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The internet
mobile phones (although as a child I always knew that one day there would be mini computer gadgets)
Overinflated house prices
Out of control immigration
World terrorism becoming mainstream
Russia becoming Democratic
Russia becoming Autocratic
Green cars
HD TV
DVD
Digital channels instead of analogue



Not all of this is necessarily progress.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 10:31 AM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Earl_of_Rochester View Post
The internet
mobile phones (although as a child I always knew that one day there would be mini computer gadgets)
Overinflated house prices
Out of control immigration
World terrorism becoming mainstream
Russia becoming Democratic
Russia becoming Autocratic
Green cars
HD TV
DVD
Digital channels instead of analogue



Not all of this is necessarily progress.
You forgot to put a date/year! It's not mandatory but it's historically useful, otherwise we can't place the time period we are looking at

Last edited by RoyalHill1987; December 1st, 2014 at 10:33 AM.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 11:01 AM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyalHill1987 View Post
You forgot to put a date/year! It's not mandatory but it's historically useful, otherwise we can't place the time period we are looking at

1984

George Orwell was right.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 11:06 AM   #5

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The excitement as a child this time of year (1970's and early 80's) of seeing the 'promo trailers' for the 'Big films' that were going to be shown on the 3 TV channels (later 4 wow).

Buying the Christmas Radio Times and planning your holiday.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 11:23 AM   #6
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I was born in 1947, into small Irish farmhouse, with a thatched roof, no electricity, no running water, and no indoor toilet. We had a battery radio, but that was it!
In 1960, we moved to a tiny cottage with electricity (not the other two!) and discovered TV!
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Old December 1st, 2014, 11:35 AM   #7

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Born in 1951. A few things have changed since then.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 11:58 AM   #8

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I was born in 1972.

* The Cold War was rocking and Red Brigades were a real threat for the Republic
[It was not so clear yet if the free world would have survived to Communism ... Saigon was still to fall ...]
* In Italy color TV wasn't [color broadcasting started in 1977].
* The phone in homes was rare to see
* Computers and robot existed only in SF movies
* Video Games weren't
* People still went to cinema [in Italy is a lost habit]


But if I think to daily life ... actually life hasn't changed so much:

Cars already existed, planes already were in the air, TV existed [without color], phone existed, freezers existed, cooking systems were available, supermarkets were there ...

But man had already conquered the moon!
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Old December 1st, 2014, 11:58 AM   #9

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In the American Southwest circa 1940, life was still mostly rural. We had no connection to the electrical grid, and had to depend on a small wind-driven generator to charge old automobile batteries. We had no refrigerator, no telephone, and we used our small electrical resources for a couple of low wattage lights, and a couple of hours listening to the radio. We went to town only for necessities to save gas and money. Gas was rationed, and the price of beef on the hoof never much exceeded the loan debt to raise them. We tended the land and cattle mostly from horseback, and supplemented our food with poached deer. Ranch folks would take turns slaughtering livestock and feeding their neighbors, that way we all had fresh beef nearly every month. Mostly we ate what we grew and produced off of the land. Life wasn't terribly different than it had been in the late 19th century. My generation loved it, but our parents hated the never-ending toil for so little reward. They wanted bright lights and the big cities where folks their age were living lives of adventure. My Uncle ran away several times as a teenager, and ended up serving as a naval gunner in the Pacific. My Aunt went out to California and was part of the military information network. Dad served as a railroad man carrying troops and supplies across the country. Mom and us kids, along with our cousins, lived on the ranch with our grandparents.

But things weren't like that everywhere. In the big cities there were telephones, and most folks had abundant electricity. Telephone connections were still made by switchboard operators, people had Party Line connections, and calling Long-Distance was a rare occasion. Important news was sent by telegraph, and delivered by hand. In the towns and cities, you could attend movie theaters. A movie ticket bought you an air conditioned seat, a news-real, several cartoons, a serial cliff-hanger, a "B" picture, and finally an "A" picture. To draw audiences into the theaters, owners held drawings for china, small luxury items, and even a box of groceries occasionally. Films had to be morally uplifting, and nothing terribly shocking appeared on the screen. Disney had a film, "The Living Desert", that children weren't allowed to see because a baby deer was born on camera and wild critters ate one another. Shocking stuff back then.

There was no transcontinental national highway until Eisenhower's administration, and only the rich and powerful could fly on airlines. Most folks and goods traveled by railroad. City and local roads varied from pretty good, to a muddy slough. Some farmers were still using horse-drawn plows and farm equipment ... I knew an old farmer in the 1960s who still refused to use anything not powered by his mule teams.

The nation was united in defeating Germany and Japan, and believed that in the long run they must be utterly defeated. We mostly overlooked the lurking danger of the Stalin's Soviet Union. Heroism wasn't looked at too closely, but any deviation from the social norms of the time were brutally repressed. Segregation, especially in the South, appeared invincible to change. Women and minorities flooded into war industries, and proved they were as capable as any White Man. Even in combat, segregated troops earned eternal glory. The War made cracks in the old prejudices, but it wasn't until the Korean War that Truman integrated the military over the objection of most senior officers.

Oh, weren't we glad to hear of Germany's defeat. Even more welcome was the news that the Atomic Bomb ended the need to invade the Japanese Homelands. We had very little understanding of what the Atomic Bomb was, and less appreciation for how drastically it would change the world. The world was changed. The men came home totting souvenirs, and haunted by memories of combat. Women mostly turned over their wartime jobs to veterans, but going back to being a "mere housewife and mother" wasn't all that appealing to many. During the War, savings soared as people bought war bonds, and so much was rationed. So when the men came home, it was with real money to spend, and they had government benefits like never before. College admissions were at an all time high, and turned out the trained engineers who later brought us the wonders of the sixties and seventies. They liked spending their money on material comforts, hated risk of any kind, and were conservative politically. Our generation, thought them stodgy. Our generation couldn't close our eyes to the injustices embodied in the Jim Crow and segregation. We saw the work of our parents to build a better world languishing, and we were, like all youth, Idealists.
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Old December 1st, 2014, 01:45 PM   #10

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1964 - I had two television channels, a slide rule to do math, and no worries. Seatbelts were optional, a person could smoke anywhere, including hospitals, and I remembered every one of my friends' telephone numbers. To call them I had to dial - I made sparks - and really hated numbers with too many zeros in them. We were on a party line ourselves, so I couldn't answer the phone unless it rang two long and one short. Our phone itself was made of bakelite and was heavy enough to cave in someone's skull.

It was entirely normal to see a pickup truck with seven or eight kids in the bed, or a snowmobile on the main street in town. Cameras had film. I remember the horrible smell of helping the teacher run off copies on the "ditto machine", a frighteningly complex chemical printing process before the advent of the Xerox copier. I had a large paper route and sometimes made as much as ten bucks a week, which was eight bucks more than my allowance.
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