Friday, January 21, 2011

For The Times They Are A-Changin'.

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'.

Bob Dylan

In 1975 I brought a Texas Instruments SR-22 calculator to my high school chemistry class to use during a test. My fellow students were none too pleased when our teacher, Mr. Maskalenko, said I could use it. Holding up a slide rule; which he had spent weeks teaching us how to use, he pronounced in an assured, and rather loud voice to be heard over the din, that there was no difference between my SR-22 and the side rule the other students had.

Not that the SR-22 really did me much good. I got a B in chemistry only after promising Mr. Maskalenko that I would take as few science and math classes as possible in college. I kept the promise taking only math 101 (beginning with long division and sets) and statistics (lost 10 points on a test when I wrote sadistics on the top of the page). But I digress.

The point is, I didn't realize it at the moment, and for years to come, thanks to a whole lot of college parties, getting married, trying to find a job, raising children, a dog, three cats......., that day in 1975 marked the end of the slide rule and the beginnings of a technological revolution. The times they were a-changin.

My youngest, Joshua (still annoys him when I use him in a post. For new parents fear not! Your opportunity to drive your kids nuts will come. Suggestion-- bringing crayons or markers when you visit the grandchildren-- they will know what to do.), who is now where I was in 1975(to his credit with better grades), wouldn't recognize a slide rule, or eight-track tape, LPs, cassette tape, floppy disc, moon pies, typewriter, Cherry Smash, dial-up phones, etc. etc....if his life depended on it.

Our knowledge of the world around us and the resulting advancements in technology is growing exponentially. It was noted in a recent article that, " It is estimated that a week’s worth of New York Time’s contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century. It is estimated that 40 exabytes (4.0 X 10 to the 19th power) of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year. That is more than in the previous 5,000 years." I can't imagine what my grandchildren will have to know when they go to high school.

I have a set of encyclopedias published in 1916. There are almost 5-pages dedicated to the steam engine with diagrams. On any page I can learn about someone, something, or some event which is not even a footnote today. Knowing that we cannot be expected to keep up with the growth of knowledge it will be interesting to see what we as a society decide is important to know and what is not. That is something scary to contemplate. So we won't., Instead of looking forward let's take a look back . I thought it would be interesting to pull off the road of knowledge and take a peek in the rear view mirror to see how far we have come...........................

For The Times They Are A-Changin'

I never pass up an opportunity to inspect an abandoned gas station. Love to check to see what the gas price was when the station sold its last gallon of gas. This particular station is in King George. This pump could not register a price per gallon higher than .99 9/10. The cost per gallon shown is 36 cents. The last time the price of a gallon of gas was at this level was 1970. So lets throw out a few fun facts about 1970--

Avg cost of home-- $23,400.00
Avg. income-- $ 9,350.00
Avg. Cost for car-- $ 3,900.00
Top Movie --M*A*S*H
Top Song-- Bridge Over Troubled Waters

No comments:

Post a Comment