My parents are visiting this weekend, and earlier today we went out for a delightful brunch at Hotel Akersloot. We were talking about societal and technological progress, and I was struck by an interesting date calculation. We moved to the Netherlands (for the first time) in 1978, which is half-way between the end of the Second World War and Right Now. 33 years from the autumn of 1945 to the autumn of 1978, and another 33 (and a bit) years from 1978 to January 2012.
Which is kind of, wow. Huge changes in both of those periods, but it feels to me that the years from 1945 – 1978 were more significant. Perhaps that’s because I wasn’t around to experience the changes first-hand; things I have seen and events I have watched myself seem more ordinary than events I’ve only read about in historical records.
But I suppose that when Alex and Fiona are my age, and compare the period 1978 – 2012 to the decades they will have lived through, they will think that those years were more significant: the fall of the Soviet Union, the unification of Europe, the dawn of the internet and instant, universal access to information.
Interesting times. I wonder what comes next?