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Gentleman's Military Interest Club
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WHAT IF ...............

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Mervyn Mitton

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Comment :

I am sorry for the delay with the Police novel. I am actually 2 chapters in hand - and will
re-commence soon. I will also add a couple of entries for my WW2 memories - surprisingly
I have had several requests - including from Google readers.


What if :

This will only be a short post and really stems from a conversation I had with someone in the shop.

We were talking of developments in the communication field and started to think of where the present
day World would be without these modern inventions we all take for granted.

For example - how would we communicate without computers and cell phones ? Just 25 years ago
most telephones were still operated by a dial - faxes had gained a lot of use after the long postal
strike in the UK in the 1970's. I spent a week doing a course on how to operate a 'Ticker tape' machine - the only means we had to contact Motor Registry at Swansea. Today they are hardly used - just endless emails and a
proliferation of scammers trying to send you 2 million dollars they don't know what to do with.........

However, the changes are a lot deeper then just the equipment. Everyone has become an instant
'expert' with google. A very useful tool to look something-up - but, it certainly doesn't make people
experts - that still requires years of experience.

This carries forward with the growth of media networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Obviously
they serve a need and I am sure can help with all sorts of friendships and research. But, the question
is - do they actually serve any purpose ? Should they all be closed down tomorrow - would the World
be a 'poorer' place ? Personally, I think not.

Age has a lot to do with modern applications - the older we get , I suspect, the less we are willing to
embrace these new gadgets. I do think the cell phone was a wonderful invention - in Countries like
South Africa where the old Government had not allowed phone lines into rural areas , the African
communities were cut off from famiies and also, medical or, police help. Cell phones have re-united
families. Having said that, I want the use of the phone - I don't want to send SMS's which are better
as an email.

Whilst risking having myself called an 'old fossil' , I have never sent an SMS - or, stood waiting to use an
ATM.

Really, it is within the space of my lifetime that all of these changes have happened. When I was born in
1936 England was still virtually as it was at the end of Queen Victoria's Reign. WW2 was the catylist that
brought changes. Who could imagine life without kitchen paper - a cloth over the kitchen taps was the
forerunner. TV - if you had the money , was a large box with a small 8 inch (20cm) screen - and B&W. Now I
even have a large colour monitor to watch the four sides of the house.

Just thoughts from the past - but, ones that make you wonder what will be available in a further 75 years.

Make a 'comment' and tell us what you think will be the future ? Mervyn

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Hello Mervyn,

Even though I am well entrenched in the "fossil corner" I do see such advances as email, Facebook etc. as a positive thing but mainly for one reason. Families are no longer able to remain in the same general are as their parents and brothers and sisters. This distance, years ago, meant that you would only see your children and grandchildren on High Holidays. Now with better commuications, stories and photos can be shared quickly and with Skype you can even speak with your children and grandchildren almost any time. Then there are friends living in South Africa, Australia, the UK and India (Punjab) who are only a key board away, what a great invention this email and other communications options have turned out to be. Now if we could teleport from Canada to your shop in S.A. we could really do business. Ha ha

Other than than, and this forum of course, emails and such are more trouble than they are worth for the most part.
Regards for the fossil world
Brianasorus.

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Hello: Interesting posts by the two gentlemen above.
Here is a small contribution from another oldtimer ( born in 1931) who has been slow in advancing with the rapidly advancing technology or better perhaps gadgetry in some instances. Just got a cellphone for use by my wife when by herself visiting the city ( Chicago ) or while driving in emergency situations. We gave up our rotary phone when one could no longer function with it. I consider some of these advances with mixed feelings such as cellphones in use while driving even walking, leading to distracted driving ( walking?) accidents. Not mentioning a considerable nuisance effect while used in public within hearing distance. Criminal minds are shown very fertile in use and abuse of electronic devices. The number of security updates for my computer ( still on dial-up ) by Microsoft or Symantec nearly every other day is astounding.
Looking back it seems that we functioned quite well even though not "connected" all of the time.
I believe the hectic "lifestyle" of today may just lead to some shortening of life expectancy combined with certain ailments popping up more often. A pronounced impatience in everyday activities especially traffic is very noticeable. This oftentimes includes disregard for fellow humans and is very unpleasant to observe.
Just some quick observations by someone who has been around the block a few times.
Bernhard H. Holst

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I think such things as cellphones and emails have been a great invention but I would be interested to see as a social experiment how people would cope today if they were withdrawn and it was back to the reliance of snailmail and suchlike for an extended period of time, especially those who have no or little experience of life without such modern methods of communication.
I remember, not so long ago really - in the last 20 years anyway - when we used to deploy on 7 month operations (I'm ex-Royal Navy) and the only contact with those at home was postal mail. Periods between mail drops could be anything from a few days to 3 weeks (and sometimes even more if the mail to the ship was directed to the wrong destination, i.e. ship is in Dakar, Senegal while the incoming mail was sent to Dakha, Pakistan!) But now those on deployments start griping if the email connection is offline for more then 24 hours and if the ship ever goes to within 10 miles of a coastline then numerous people suddenly appear on the upperdeck with mobile phone in hand.

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