Sunday 17 January 2010

2010 - Living In The Future


My friend Elizabeth, teaching out in India, has alerted me to Daniel Sinker's website about this fascinating book [click here]

The book was published in 1972, and written by Geoffrey Hoyle, son of Fred Hoyle, the astronomer. GH is a science fiction writer. The book is quite...imaginative... but do check out Daniel's site.

Some of his ideas of life in the future now have worked out, but not quite as envisaged [e.g. online shopping, 'wet-rooms' for bathrooms, webcams, fingerprint recognition, distance learning etc] other parts - especially relating to food and transport are more fanciful.

The fashions he predicts are AWFUL - "In the year 2010, everyone wears a jumpsuit and shoes" I think not!!

2010 clothes

Daniel's comments added to my enjoyment of looking at this book. I thought back to 1972, and what I would have been doing on a typical Saturday in January then...

Well, I was in the sixth form, studying for A-levels, and I worked on Saturdays in our local supermarket as a checkout operator. Customers slid their purchases along the shelf to the till [no conveyor belt] where I punched in prices [no laser scanners] and put goods in paper carrier bags. And the shop shut at 5pm on Saturdays and did not open again till Monday morning! [so staff had the option of buying 'expired' food very cheaply at the end of the shift]

I walked to and from work, and after work, probably finished homework [all hand-written in fountain pen, using reference books from the library] then hemmed the skirt which I'd made the night before [from a fabric remnant bought on the market]

B&W test card We would have our meal - perhaps sausage and beans, then apple pie. In the evening I'd walk to church for some Youth Activity or other - or if nothing was happening there, I'd stay home and watch TV [black and white - and only 2 channels!] or perhaps reply to the letter I'd received that day from my Grandmother [which she had written and posted the evening before]

But all that was back in the last millennium!

And whilst I am glad for some of the progress we have made, there are some things from 'the old days' which I am glad I can still enjoy - like writing with a fountain pen, choosing a book from the library, dressmaking, the postman bringing a letter, home-made apple pie, and walking to church for an evening of fun and fellowship.

As far as I am concerned, these simple pleasures can never be completely replaced by the speed/convenience of a laptop, a Kindle, M&S fashions, emails, ready meals and Internet Chatrooms!

I wonder which aspects of 'progress' other people appreciate - and what aspects of 'the Old Days' are worth hanging on to?


  1. There seemed to be more time in those days, time to talk, time to enjoy people. Nowadays the 'media' seems to have taken over lives.

  2. Progress is wonderful in many ways and frustrating in others. I think that the over-the-top political correctness these days is annoying, however, we have made good progress in protecting the rights of minorities (if not taken it a little too far in some instances!).

    It's finding the balance that's important.

    I agree with Elizabeth about the more relaxed life (I was born 1973 so I can't speak about 1972). All the gadgets that were supposed to make our lives one of leisure has backfired - getting emails and internet on your blackberry (or whatever) means that work can follow you where'er you go!

  3. I loved your description of your day in ' seemed much simpler then...
    Have a wonderful week

  4. I agree with Elizabeth. I feel guilty when I don't respond to my phone. I liked it when it was okay for the phone to ring and ring and ring. Nobody home. Now, we can almost find everyone, all the time, and I'm not sure the conversations are better.

  5. You know what's strange? I'd almost forgotten about check out clerks punching in the prices. And I was born in 1964!

    I miss letters, very much. And yes, you can still write them, but for the most part people don't write back, they e-mail. Sigh ...



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