please empty your brain below

Everything is for the best, in this best of all possible worlds.
Well that just gloomed me out :(
What we have now is a better record of the recent past, this is something that most of humanity didn't have, so someone living in say Cromwell's time wouldn't have anything to compare it to.

You could argue that the recent mess is because too many people live lives of uncertainty, when I ask them about what happens in terms of paying bills if they lose their jobs, retire, interest rates go up etc. many have no idea - the money comes in, and goes straight out again.

The other thing we have is ready access to worldwide news, if anything this reinforces the sense of doom, I doubt if there were many Eskimos bothered about the fall of the Roman Empire, now its Syria, police shootings in America, girls kidnapped in Nigeria, terrorist attacks everywhere, that train crash in India, FGM, earthquakes etc. etc. - endless stuff I can't do anything about
Is this the Trump post I have been looking out for?
An interesting and timely reflection.

I've found that global events of recent years, allied to the ageing process, have tended to dull my appetite for life. Maybe they should have had the opposite effect?
Time to reflect on that variable timeline, maybe.
Lighten up for flips sake.....(Though it's hard not to agree)
I was reading last night about the decline of the Roman Empire in Britain.
It's strange to think that thousands of years ago Britain had organised government, mass production, a currency and a professional defence force, until rampaging hordes overran it and the country returned to a barter system. Everything comes to an end eventually, no matter how secure it might seem.

The future of Europe and the 'West' is of gradual decline at best, as falling birth rates here face off against booming populations and rising prosperity elsewhere around the world. Who knows how that will end up. Maybe we've become too complacent, and people think they can vote or campaign for anything, or not vote at all, safe in the belief that free healthcare, unemployment benefit, a pension and all the infrastructure that we rely on will endure unaffected and carry on for ever, need a shock to wake them up.
Many parts of today's world are still, in a sense, living in the time of Oliver Cromwell, with dictatorship, oppression and use of a supernatural being to exert power over a uneducated population. They are where this country was several centuries ago.

The difference is that their populations can see (through world-wide instant communications) what their life could be like - and they want that better life, of course. Education is the key, particularly the education of women, because with education comes tolerance, a middle class that stabilises the population, a reduced birthrate and a loss of interest in religions based on supernatural beings.

There IS hope for humanity - and that hope comes through education.
DG - you need to wake up. The 2 world wars were not fought for our freedom, they were fought for our continued enslavement. And a third one is about to kick off
I for one wouldn’t be so upset with a thermo-nuclear war.
IMO it would finally shut up the millennials whining about how they are so offended by just about EVERYTHING.
Of course the Kardashians and cockroaches would probably survive.
To lighten up a bit:

- absolutely poverty in general is going down though relative poverty is all but impossible to eliminate. As a boy I learnt, or was let to believe, that most of India was starving and that China was very backward. Some countries have advanced remarkably (Singapore, South Korea for example) and very few have made little progress or even gone backwards.

- Your life is probably in reality probably has hot running water available, central heating, massive amounts of TV to watch, a varied choice of things to eat, instant communication, the opportunity to visit almost any part of the world you want to, healthcare that is improving all the time (but admittedly under great strain and could be better) etc. etc. To that extent you probably actually have a better life and a longer life expectation than a monarch of just one generation ago.
Yeah, damn those Millennials for being angry after older generations ignored climate change and shafted them by voting for things like Brexit and Donald Trump because they're upset it's not the 1950s anymore. And then seeing those older generations write endless articles abut how terrible and ungrateful millennials are.
you had me at 'will our team win the Cup'
We (in the West) generally have it good. In the post Industrial era we are the first to have the luxury of wondering about the future. Most people in the third World are forced to live in the present, with some knowledge of the past based on religious doctrine, and no time to be concerned about the distant future. If they had thought of Global Warming in the 1700s there may not have been any progress in the West either.

There are no recorded forecasts of the undreamed of wealth and scientific progress that has actually occurred. Apart from Revelations in the Bible and Nostrodamus I can't think of anyone who even thought about or speculated about the future (and those forecasts were not exactly a bundle of laughs either). There is a good argument that speculating about the future in any way more sophisticated than a long-range weather forecast is futile. History demonstrates that when something earth-changes occurs it was not forecast anyway.

I wonder if dg could put his not inconsiderable powers to speculating what the future could hold if events were to turn out differently, e.g. there is a period of peace and plenty brought about by scientific progress.
But good news is not as readable as bad news and as noted above is futile.
The Boomers had it best. Missed the horrors of WWI and WWII, turned on by Radio Caroline and all the other pirates, rocked through the Swinging Sixties, no AIDs, no debt on graduation, affordable housing, little or no stamp duty, gold plated pensions. And you could leave your luggage unattended.

Of course, not everything was better - you could be locked up if you were gay, smallpox hadn't been eradicated etc. But it seems today's youth may be the first generation to find that they are not always going to be better off than their parents.
A very good article. We take too much for granted nowadays: the post-war peace, relative prosperity and security. Unfortunately, recent events - particularly this year - only serve to remind us how fragile it all is and how quickly things can change.

We're all so tied up in our own little worlds, thinking about hot water and what's on the TV, so we fail to see the bigger picture.
Reached 50 eh?
Gerry, I'm a baby boomer ... missed the horror of WWII but childhood was rationing, Radio Caroline didn't turn me on, my Sixties were hard work not rocking, I never got to graduate (not many people went to uni in those days), could never afford to buy a house and I don't have a gold plated pension

Be careful of swallowing the hype you read

the future's always uncertain, all we can do is make the best of the present in the hope it will help
"you probably actually have a better life and a longer life expectation than a monarch of just one generation ago."

I doubt it. One generation ago (and indeed two generations ago) we already had a monarch who would live into her nineties. Indeed, with the exception of her father, her ten predecessors (i.e back to George I two centuries ago) all lived at least into their late sixties, with an average of 73, two of them reaching 80.
The future is always uncertain. Recently I inherited several years' issues of the science magazine Omni (now defunct and greatly missed). One copy, from the 80s, gave predictions of the inventions we'd have in the 21st century. The most obvious error; no internet. That would mean no Google, no kittens on Youtube, and, worst of all, no dg. Let's enjoy what we have.
That's why some people advocate living every day as if it's your last. I myself have little to lose. I even anticipate myself going to Hell after death.
Nothing really time we and all those that have known us will be dust. The Earth very likely, one day, be consumed by the Sun and the Sun itself will 'burn-out'.

In general 'we' have two 'choices'... carry-on living till we 'expire' or 'check-out' early.

My thoughts are with those that have reached the point of 'giving-up' on life...for they, like the rest of us, only get one.

I feel i should end on a positive come-on people sing with me: "always look on the bright side of life..."
I think there will always be kittens
@ DG

> ah, the President just tweeted he was angry !

With the exception of her [QEII] father...

Yes, but that was one generation ago which was the point I was making. So, with the exception of the precise example that verifies the point ...

George VI almost certainly died as a result of smoking and not knowing the dangers of the habit. Medical knowledge has moved on and we all benefit.

Perhaps monarchs are a bad example as the potential monarchs prone to an early death may well die before ascending to the throne. So there is a bit of natural selection going on.
For me the year represents a positive turning point - UK out of Europe and a new American President capable of independent thought - there was never going to be any change - from deep rooted rule of the masses by tiny elites before those two events.
'armagaddeon'? Is this some kind of explosive musical instrument popular in the days of glam rock?

dg writes: It ought to be! Fixed, thanks.
I was born when Calvin Coolidge was Prez, and for the first time in my life I'm frightened about the damage to the US and the World that our president-elect could (and probably will)cause. I hope the UK never has a monarch or PM with the (lack of) morality this person has in spades.
I think this is a little unfair to Oliver Cromwell who allowed a wide measure of religious liberty and even allowed the Jews to return to England.
Have they changed the bus stops again?

We all have our strengths philosophy isn't yours ;-)
@ pop
Indeed - to become a hereditary monarch you usually have to outlive at least one of your parents, so a self selecting sample. (Lady Jane Grey seems to be the only exception). Average life expectancy of monarchs since 1066 is 56. This includes outliers like Edward V.
Mr. Geezer I have enjoyed reading your blog for a number of years. I have read this one and worry somewhat. I hope you are alright.

I make assumptions, one of them is that you are probably within the frame of 10 years either side of my age. (I will not tell you how old I am but I suspect...)

Moonlandings were the pinnacle of human achievement. For those of us who remember still one of the most exciting things that could ever happen.

Why did it happen? The Cold War.

My personal belief is, us humans need a frission of something before we kick and do something useful.
What a great 'deep' post .. got me thinking for the day.
I don't agree with gsm.

Two aliens discussing life on Earth:
“They’ve got nuclear missiles, you know.”
“Have they? They must be quite intelligent then.”
“No, not really.”
“Oh? Why not?”
“They’ve aimed them at each other.”
Very interesting post, but I feel I should quibble with your line about East Germany, on behalf of my husband who lived there from his birth in 1971 to the fall of the wall.

For the average family it wasn't really like living in Orwell's 1984. Virtually everyone had a roof over their heads, educational standards were high and pretty much everyone had a job.

He does remember an epic waiting list to get the car they wanted, but if that's the worst you have to put up with, life's not too grim (and no, it wasn't a Trabant).

TridentScan | Privacy Policy