is no new thing under the sun." -
"Everything old is new again." - Peter Allen in
All That Jazz.
Many such idioms exist regarding how often things tend to run in cycles; it's just that often times people who think they
are witnessing a new phenomenon are not aware of the previous occurrences. I have written of examples where 'old timers'
lament the attitudes of a fledgling work force when writings show the previous generation of 'old timers' who worked with
the current 'old timers' in their youth expressed the same type concern. Experienced Ham operators think newbies cannot
carry on the tradition of wireless because they are not required to learn Morse code anymore to earn a license.
An article titled "OMG! We've Been Here B4," by Clive Thompson, appeared in the March 2016 issue of Smithsonian magazine,
wherein he points out how many people believe the advent of texting is leading to the demise of courteous social spoken
intercourse. Unlike holding a face-to-face or telephone conversation where both parties are intimately engaged in a conversation
where each can discern whether the other hears what is being said and can expect a response, texting provides an easy excuse
for ignoring any portion of the communications and blaming it, if challenged, on not having received or not having noticed
the text message. Mr. Thompson also provides examples of how each new mode of communications brings about complaints
and suspicions by technophobes. Critics of the
era worried that telephones might make people more lazy because they could lounge in their homes or offices while exchanging
community or business information, rather than physically travelling to meet personally. He alludes to the following poem
by Carl Sandburg (c1916), which I located and have posted in its entirety below.
Under a Telephone Pole,
I am a copper wire slung in the air,
Slim against the sun I make not even a clear line of shadow.
Night and day
I kept singing—humming and thrumming:
It is love and war and money; it is the fighting and the tears, the work and the
Death and laughter of men and women passing through me, carrier of your speech.
In the rain and the wet dripping,
in the dawn and the shine drying,
A copper wire.
-- Carl Sandburg
Posted June 22, 2016