Transient technology

Future generations will marvel at the way we lived in the 1980s or 90s. Today’s children are growing up in a truly connected age where many of the things we once took for granted are becoming irrelevant. What did we do without smart phones for instance? Fancy having to have a separate camera or calculator? Imagine getting phone numbers from the Yellow Pages? Or how about catching up on the news from an immobile flickering box in the corner of a room or talking to friends on a telephone attached by a curly piece of wire to a plastic box, one per household, frequently located in a draughty hallway?

I learned in school about the Luddites and how they raged against new technology. Newfangled factory looms stole jobs from men and women in homes and small workshops; angry people smashed the machinery. I don’t see switchboard operators and the owners of camera shops rioting or, for that matter, supermarket workers rising up against the introduction of self-service tills any time soon. But perhaps they should…?

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