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Big changes in your lifetime?

Discussion in 'off topic' started by The Far North, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. The Far North

    The Far North pfm Member

  2. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    The massive changes in temperate agriculture, which Joe Average does not see, except as masses of cheap food, the fact that cars are no longer the exception for each household, and plenty more. JUST before my lifetime, but widespread mechanisation beyond steam-power came to agriculture only after WW2 in the 1940-50's - certainly my parents saw the wholesale transition from horse-power to internal combustion engine and they were born only around 100 years ago.

    This was sent by a friend in the US and touches on just a few everyday, obvious things - I am 60 and it all certainly applies to me in my lifetime, although I have no tumble-dryer and very seldom switch on the single telly here, and my mother washed EVERYTHING by hand, no washing machine until the 1970's, just a copper, a washtub, a dolly and a washboard, and elbow-grease -

    Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.

    The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, "We didn't have this 'green thing' back in my earlier days."

    The young clerk responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations."

    The older lady said that she was right our generation didn't have the "green thing" in its day. The older lady went on to explain: Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

    But we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day. Grocery stores bagged our groceries in brown paper bags that we reused for numerous things. Most memorable, besides household garbage bags, was the use of brown paper bags as book covers for our school books. This was to ensure that public property (the books provided for our use by the school) was not defaced by our scribblings. Then we were able to personalize our books on the brown paper bags.

    But, too bad we didn't do the "green thing" back then. We walked up stairs because we didn't have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn't have the "green thing" in our day.

    Back then we washed the baby's diapers because we didn't have the throw away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy-gobbling machine burning up 220 volts. Wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days.

    Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right; we didn't have the "green thing" back in our day.

    Back then we had one TV, or radio, in the house, not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

    In the kitchen we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us.

    When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

    Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power.

    We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she's right; we didn't have the "green thing" back then.

    We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blade in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn't have the "green thing" back then.

    Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service in the family's $45,000 SUV or van, which cost what a whole house did before the "green thing."

    We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 23,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest burger joint.

    But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the "green thing" back then?

    We don't particularly like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off ??? Especially from a tattooed, multiple pierced smartass who can't make change without the cash register telling them how much.

    Please consider sharing this with another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart ass young person!
    Dozey, Rockmeister, suzywong and 7 others like this.
  3. clivem2

    clivem2 pfm Member

    I wouldn't suggest it's the young people who created our situation. They've not experienced what we used to do way back, that's out fault. It was us who enabled the current wasteful society.
    MikeMA and gintonic like this.
  4. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    A remarkable story!
  5. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    You take life, and the views/comments/suggestions in the tale from the US, too literally and seriously :)
    I don't think that is what is said or implied in the tale anyway, merely that there is nothing new under the sun in blaming other people. It's just a list of changes over the past 80 years or so.

    Lots of the comments from the US do not bear simple analysis - just as one for instance, don't quote me for the EXACT number, but glass bottles have to survive "9" cycles to be energetically better than plastic. But is energy the only consideration. If all glass was colourless or brown nothing would be simpler to recycle though.

    The whole thing rather depends on exactly what age you are talking about. The age of old-fashioned recycling died in the 70's, so anyone born and living since then has had a major hand in a "wasteful society". I can remember the 6d return on Corona bottles and that finished in the 70's even though PETP bottles that could hold the fizz were still a long way from revolutionising the fizzy drinks market - the patent wasn't granted until 1973!!!!!! The ring pull wasn't invented until 1959 and I certainly remember having to use a can-opener to pierce beverage cans and remove crown caps from pop bottles.

    As for the space station embezzlement - that is just down to radio communications, and how long have we had those?
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  6. MikeMA

    MikeMA pfm Member

    A computer with Google and the internet in everyone's pocket.
    TheDecameron likes this.
  7. zippy

    zippy pfm Member

    I can assure you that, back in the sixties/seventies (my teenage years), there were just as many people concerned about the environment.
    The thing is that it goes in cycles. In the seventies the worry was shortage of resources (we believed that the oil would run out before the end of the 20th century)
    Today the main problem (or at least the main focus of the many problems) seems to be plastic waste. Between those times there were environmental worries about nuclear power, overpopulation, ozone layer, rain forest and goodness knows how many others.
    In 10-20 years time there will be something else to worry about so don't blame your predecessors for the situation, by that time you will be the ones being blamed.
  8. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    I would draw everyone's attention to the title of the thread, not consequences etc. thereof.

    I have just cut down a large bed of nettles using an Austrian scythe, in half the time that a bit of two stroke, a huge amount of noise and far fewer calories on my part, would have taken.
  9. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    I am in the process of up-rating the glazing to my Velux roof lights. The new glazing units are 25mm panels, with solar reflective glass and toughened.

    I remember single sheet glazing, used to wake up in the winter with frost on the inside.

    russel likes this.
  10. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Me too Bloss - the ice...….

    For the first 15 years of my life, electronics meant valves.
    In my last years at school, the first LED display self-assembly Sinclair watches and calculators appeared. Within a few years, the Commodore PET had appeared and disappeared as VERY simple, what would today be called laptop or tablet computers, would appear.

    How long since 99.99% of domestic lighting was wire-in-a-bottle GLS?

    Widespread, all but universal, access to and use of the www is how old? Less than 20 years......
  11. The Far North

    The Far North pfm Member

    In my first year at College, we used hand cranked adding machines in maths, although we were the last to use them. When I entered the heady world of industry, it felt pretty special to sit at a punchcard machine preparing scores of cards to be run in BP's computers. :rolleyes:
  12. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    That woman who was going into her ex-partner’s bank accounts from the International Space Station. Do you think she might have been trolling cable threads on pfm as well?
  13. The Far North

    The Far North pfm Member

    I'm more worried that Trump has her sussing out the possibilities of arming the ISS :oops:
  14. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    The Internet & smart devices has changed everything on a daily basis. The pace of change in this area is staggering. I remember a friend saying he had an email address & I recall saying, "what do you need one of them for". This would've been 96/97, he also said it was a better, less intrusive form of communication. Incredible that the simple phone call as a concept is almost dead.
  15. clivem2

    clivem2 pfm Member

    We had an Austin A30 with the luxury of an electric starter but it did have a starting handle as a backup. It had trafficators too with a big knob on the centre of the dash to operate them.
  16. Bob McC

    Bob McC Living the life of Riley

    We had a mangle in our house and I took a slide rule into my A level maths exam.

    In early Star Trek episodes Spock can be seen using a slide rule.

    I can remember white dog poo before it became extinct as well.

    And trolleybuses
    deebster likes this.
  17. Vinny

    Vinny pfm Member

    Can you remember the pure-finders who especially sought it out though? ;)
  18. russel

    russel ./_dazed_and_confused

    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
  19. clivem2

    clivem2 pfm Member

    Learning to use a Comptometer
    julifriend likes this.
  20. Tony L

    Tony L Administrator

    IT on a personal level. As a kid I had no understanding or exposure to computing, only after leaving school did I start tinkering around on a friend’s BBC B. I now couldn’t even contemplate work/life without modern IT/comms technology. Reality really has bettered Star Trek etc sci-fi when it comes to this stuff.

    The other huge change is obviously the environment. We seem to have moved from the huge optimism and natural history/space exploration I remember as a child of the ‘60s to the increasing realisation we have created our own extinction event and many of us may be alive to see it.
    George J likes this.

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