Graduation Mortar Board

Those Were the Days…

Graduation Mortar BoardThirty-six years ago, today: May 26, 1975, I graduated from high school.

Yes, I remember Edith (Jean Stapleton, b. 1923) singing that to Archie (Carroll O’Connor, August 2, 1924 – June 21, 2001) at the old upright as All In The Family came on the huge tube TV back in the day. Gas was leaded and cost .25 a gallon. Filling up the tank in my old Ford Falcon cost less than $4.00—an outrage after the oil embargo. I tooled around town listening to the old 8 track tape player I had installed. A stamp was 21 cents. I wrote my school papers on an old manual typewriter.

There was no microwave, no video tape, no CD, DVD, computer, walkman, no GPS, no mobile phone, no cell phone, not even the cordless phone. Being cool meant you had a long phone cord and could walk around the kitchen while talking. Everyone knew what a 33 and a 45 was.

So much has changed in the last 36 years, become obsolete. The last typewriter factory (in India) closed a few months back. Routers, ethernet, tweets, iTunes, iPads, iPods, iPhones, digital cameras, printers, YouTube

I now sound like my grandparents back in 1975: I’m not sure anything is better. It’s just more… faster… Everything is common. People are now data. The definition of value has become social metrics, hits, eyeballs. Even pagerank is a thing of the past now.

I doubt I’ll still be alive 36 years from now, in 2047, at the age of 90, and that’s totally OK with me! How will things change in the next 36 years? I shutter at the thought. The one thing I am certain of: we don’t imagine it now.

Hat tip to my high school classmate Arthur for reminding us all of this day in his Facebook post. Who on earth would have envisioned Facebook in 1975?!