Saturday, August 03, 2019

Out Of Touch

I wonder if getting older always means feeling out of touch with your times.

If one was born in the 1840s, one could have lived to see the automobile from a horse-drawn childhood.  If one lived in the 1300s, one could have seen the initial rise of gunpowder that would eventually transform all of warfare.  In the late 1400s, one could have gone from the relative grayness of the Medieval world to the glory of the Italian Renaissance.

How would that have felt?  Would it feel the same as now - times being different, of course - as we have moved from analog to digital, from computers as big as houses only available to governments and large companies to computers in our pockets?

And this just addresses the change of technology - it does not cover social changes, dietary changes,and even the change in the ability to be almost anyway in the world within 24 hours.

In some sense we all adapt, of course - it is not as if I do not make use of a microwave or a cell phone - but how comfortable does this all seem?  Not terribly so, at times.

The young, of course, think that the world will always go on as they now have it, not realizing (as arguably the wisdom of age tells us) that they, too, are on a limited track of life "as it has always been".  In 30 years they will be confronted with things never imagined in their youth and early adulthood, things which change the way that life is done and suddenly become indispensable to every day living.  Perhaps they, too, will begin to feel that life has moved beyond them and with a strange nostalgia, look back on the "old days" when they felt comfortable in a world they knew.

And perhaps as well, they will suddenly realize that those that had gone before them were not the Luddites or fools that they had taken them to be.

4 comments:

Leigh said...

I once heard someone lament that it's a shame the human race doesn't learn linearly. By that he meant that no generation seems capable of learning from the previous generations failures. In other words, each generation has to learn the exact same lessons for themselves. I suppose the advance of technology makes us think we are actually getting somewhere, but you're right, it isn't until we get a number of decades under our belt that we see that change isn't necessarily progress.

LindaG said...

The young will never learn from history, because liberals either don't teach it, or change it.

Think if you were born just a little later than you pose. 1900. Autos, airplanes, 2 world wars and a man on the moon.

I was born in 1952 and I feel as you; but I couldn't live off grid any more.

A blessed weekend to you all, TB. 🐰

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Leigh, I think in some ways technology is a false siren in that it promises us advancement for acceptance of it. It is only later that we realize that not all "advancement" really works out to advance our spirits and minds.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Linda, my mateernal grandmother was born in 1911 and saw all of what you stated up to the mass advent of the home computer (she died in 1987). She was born in a gold mining community and lived to see in house electric, plumbing, and a microwave. It boggles the mind.