"There is no new thing under the sun." -
Ecclesiastes 1:9. "Everything old is new again." - Peter Allen
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 towards them. 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)
entitled "Under a Telephone Pole," 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
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 March 10, 2023
(updated from original post on 6/22/2016)