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A meme

'If someone from the 1950s suddenly appeared today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to them?'

This is a strange meme. I know plenty of people who were alive during the 1950s. If they are any indication, the most difficult thing to explain is how to use a modern cell phone or smart phone to make a phone call while not accidentally doing anything else with it.

(I recently got my dad what was advertised as a basic, unsmart cell phone. Every time I picked it up, I managed to trigger the voice recognition function.)

I think the other most difficult thing to explain would be certain kinds of humor that have come about since the 50s. I'm not sure how to explain which kinds, though.

This entry was originally posted at http://firecat.dreamwidth.org/796039.html, where there are comment count unavailable comments. I prefer that you comment on Dreamwidth, but it's also OK to comment here.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 11th, 2013 03:36 pm (UTC)
I like this answer: http://i.imgur.com/WIRm7.jpg

It's true. We waste a lot of technology on play.
Jan. 11th, 2013 06:39 pm (UTC)
Jan. 12th, 2013 04:48 pm (UTC)
I am 65 and adore my smart phone. I can do everything I want to on it--though I know there is more it can do, as well. But on it I often turn on the voice recognition without meaning to. I suspect poor design.
Jan. 12th, 2013 05:43 pm (UTC)
I am from the 1950s. That's when I was born.

I think what the meme originator probably meant to ask is "if someone who died in the 1950s came back to life today, what would be the most difficult thing to explain to him or her?"

As it happens, I've been watching a lot of 1950s-vintage railroad promotional videos on YouTube lately. They all reflect the boundless optimism of the period; America had just won World War II and was in the middle of the greatest economic boom in its history. Jobs were plentiful, and millions ordinary industrial workers could buy houses in the suburbs and raise families on one paycheck.

I think the question would be: how did the American dream die?

Jan. 14th, 2013 12:20 am (UTC)
interesting question. human nature hasn't changed much; just the technological means by which we indulge its various fancies. maybe the fraction of our economy that is involved in higher-order financial instruments? to someone from the 50s that would likely seem like we were building a giant house of cards (and indeed, who is to say we are not), and it would be pretty hard to explain why more has not been done to correct it.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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