Posted by Andrew Priest on February 08, 2014 at 21:55:37:
In Reply to: Re: moving on down the road posted by markb on February 07, 2014 at 20:52:20:
I have been away from UK for almost 20 years now, living in New Zealand, which is a LOT prettier than Manchester, but like many places in the World, the cities (especially Auckland) could be almost anywhere in the world - they all look pretty much the same.
I remember there was a survey in the FT, which used Mars Bars as a base unit to compare earnings and prices (on the basis the humble Mars bar had not changed its absolute value) and it had surprising results. By the same criteria, I think that in absolute terms, a lot of the western world earns LESS than it used to, works longer hours, has less freedom, and the gap between rich and poor has got wider. In terms of personal safety, crime, etc, I reckon not much has changed. Driving is safer mainly thanks to better technology and design, not by any human improvements, which I reckon also applies to most other things too.
It's hard not to be nostalgic for those wonderful teenage years, by 1976 I had a job already, being a bit older than markb ! but I still remeber is fondly.
When I walk around or listen to the news, cruise the web etc, I am often amazed by how fast things change in life, not just fashion and technology, but attitudes too. My wife and I often feel like dinosaurs NOW, God knows what it will be like in another ten or twenty years.
Sometimes I think we are all sleepwalking into 1984, and little by little the powers that be really are becoming totalitarian, at other times they seem to be as incompetant and clueless as the rest of us.
Even here in "Clean Green 100% pure" New Zealand, believe me, there are environemntal issues, species and habitat destruction, oil drilling, the spectre of fracking, and so on, it's not an untouched place at all.
Sometimes it's the tiny details which surprise me. Example - how to tell the mobile generation - ask them to operate an ordinary doorbell. Us baby boomers use our finger, the mobile generation use their thumb.
Anyway - as they say, Life moves on...
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