Wednesday, March 12, 2014

That Was Then

 A few weeks ago my Aunt sent me an email that talked about how things were in 1910. All kinds of information, which I assume is correct. It sounds correct anyway.

Things like: The Population of Las Vegas Nevada was only 30!

Yeah; I'll buy that. Los Angeles wasn't much bigger.

Or how about: There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. ! Yeah; I'll buy that one too.

But this one causes me to doubt the veracity of the whole thing:  Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION! I can see where they would have not had a medical degree, but NO College? sounds fishy.

How about this one? There were only 8,000 cars and only 144 miles of paved roads. By 1910 Ford had been producing the Model T for 4 or 5 years, and eventually built 15 million of them; 8,000 sounds awfully low. Especially since there were almost 8,000 manufacturers in 1910. Okay; that is a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much.

The point of the email is how much things have changed in a hundred years, and questions how much they will change in the next hundred.

I have a different take (I'll bet your surprised!). Look at how much things have remained the same, and what will still be the same in a hundred years? 

We're still using the same clock and calendar; noon on March 13th, 1914 is still noon on March 13th, 2014. I can see noon on March 13th, 2114 as being the same as well.

We had the telephone then, and do now. The concept is still the same, even though the actuality is different. We still use a number to connect to whoever we want to talk to. We used to connect to a location, now we connect to an individual. I don;t see that changing in another 100 years, except that we each may be assigned a number at birth that will connect us for life, and be used for all purposes, from phones to credit cards to government IDs. I didn't say I want or like the prospect of it happening, but I can see it happening.

We have only added 5 states in the last hundred years; I can see not adding anymore in the next hundred, unless something changes that makes joining the US more advantageous than not doing so.

We had electric lights in 1914, and still have them. I can see them in 2114 as well. The source of electricity may be different, and the bulb may be something we don't have now, but we will still flip a switch to have light.

Recorded music and movies were around back then, and still around now. There may be some differences in how we record and film, but we still record and film. And will in a hundred years.

History is interesting, and we can always compare both positively and negatively in any two eras. What we view as negative or positive is always in the eye of the beholder.

So while I may view the fact that the 1911 Colt's design has lasted 100 years as a positive thing, others may decry the fact that we still have need of one.

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