Baby Blues, I'd like to re-roll that ball you got rolling, maybe see if I can get it to roll into the area of what the chapter's about . . . economy - and what you initially pointed out here.
Thoreau was a poor man to begin with, from what I can see . . . he had his feet closer to the ground than Emerson, who was making money with his writing, and other people in the town.
To him, the economic scenario at that time was 'the present' . . . it was 'modern-times'.
Just as much as a hundred years from now, our lives in the early part of this millennium, is going to be viewed as 'old times', 'historic times', but out of date . . .
I can remember as far back as when we had only black and white TV; the advent of colour TV was something else! Oh, boy! I remember that first time I watched Johnny Carson (Tonight Show) in colour! It was the most amazing thing to see - it took some getting used to, mind you . . . I found it kind of distracting at first. But once we figured out how to 'adjust' for colour and clarity, we loved our colour TV.
Then came the day when we girls all had electric typewriters at our desks . . . no longer did we ladies in the steno pool have to pound on the old 'standards' while the senior secretaries had electric machines.
Cars . . . automatic transmission! Oh, wonderful! No more gallumping along with the clutch . . . much easier to put the car in drive and cruise off.
Power Steering! Whoa! The first time I got behind the wheel of a car with that convenience, it threw me for a loop - darn near went through the windshield. But I got used to that too.
As I got into my mid-thirties, I had a hard time getting office assignments because I didn't have my word-processing experience . . . well, the temp agency just kept plugging at that one - kept sending me out to the jobs,
till finally I had it - word processing . . . but by then, it was out of date - I had to learn computer!
So in 1989 I got myself a Tandy . . . it was great! I could save my writing on a disk, play games of cards with a bunch of cartoon people that I learned to hate with a passion . . .
At work, I was using WordStar (very similar to MS Word Dos). Then the work force demanded that I get proper training in computer, so I went into a Work Training place that enabled me to get Word Perfect 4.9 under my belt.
I had a joke with people when I was interviewed for a job - told them 'I don't do windows' . . . the old housekeeper's joke.
Then I got a new computer (used and reconditioned by my techie minded husband) just about every six months till I had many many versions of windows and no longer had to ask just what RAM meant. All I knew at one time was that it didn't matter how much I had, I needed more!
Then the gawd-fearin' internet!
How did I live without it?
I laughed when I first saw the commercials - somebody with a portable phone, and using it on a horse! Fer gawd's sake! Making a phonecall from a horse!
The younger generation in my life - the 20 and 30 somethings out there aren't amazed by any of it - they were trained on it! I don't think any of them type any more than 25 words a minute.
When I left Shaw's Business College, you had to be typing at least 30 words a minute before Daddy got a report card saying you had completed the course.
Then they sent us out to work in the offices, tied our butts to secretarial chairs, put dictaphone plugs in our ears - just in case any of us thought we might use the shorthand we banged our heads against the wall to learn - ha ha!
And now? You can have a job on the internet! You don't even have to shrug outta' your housecoat!
But how, if it came to be that we had to, how would we in this modern world adapt if we had to give up these things?
Before we used these things, we thought of the few people who were involved with them as being nerds . . . wierdos!
But now? There are a few people around who have never ever used the web . . . wierdos, all of 'em!