Which is better: Life in the digital era or life before the digital era?

Discussion in 'Survey Center' started by KC2SIZ, Aug 22, 2019.


Which is better: Life in the digital era or life before the digital era?

  1. Life before the digital era

    48 vote(s)
  2. Life in today's digital world

    36 vote(s)
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  1. ND6Q

    ND6Q Ham Member QRZ Page

    Your post reminded me of a couple of things. Yes, the radios were real radios that glowed in the dark and imparted a bit more mystery in hearing the signal at the other end of the QSO. Whether CW, AM or sideband, most of what occured on ham radio consisted of real conversations, either with well known friends, or new folks in a place we had never been before,but we traveled there through conversation and our imaginations. Much more interesting and more valuable than a quick 5-9 or a digital "we heard each other and thanks" conversation. If you received that QSL card 10 years later at the same address from which you participated in that QSO,you were no doubt still in your old neighborhood, and that seems a rare thing these days as most people are transient now and do not stay in one place very long. And Hams seemed much more cordial to one another then. Yes the digital era has brought with it some advantages, but at a cost in some ways to our culture. I am sure there are younger people now who will look back some day to where we are now and say "those were the good ol days". Or will they find various old publications from our bygone era and decide that, just maybe, life was much better before the digital age. It is always the same though for people, we just never seem to understand how good we have it before it is too late.
    WN1MB likes this.
  2. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    Also without antibiotics, vaccines, anesthesia..... radios...
  3. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have.
  4. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    From 1956:

    KA0HCP likes this.
  5. N2EY

    N2EY Ham Member QRZ Page

    I was born in 1954.

    "Quality of life" back then was a mixed bag, but some folks only remember the good stuff.

    Cars had carburetors, points, single brake systems, generators and not much else. They also required constant maintenance in order to run properly, broke down often, and were worn/rusted out long before 100,000 miles. (Odometers only went to 99,999). And your chances of dying in an accident were MUCH higher.
    Automatic transmissions, power steering and brakes, radio and heater were options. Forget about air conditioning.

    When you adjust for inflation and the low MPG of the cars of those days, the fuel cost was no less than today, and often more.

    Radios were impressive...and EXPENSIVE. $250 bought a middle-of-the-line receiver....back when the typical middle-class worker made about $100 a week before taxes.

    The 1950s are often portrayed as a sort of Golden Age, and they were....if you were a straight healthy "white" male who conformed in every way. For women, "nonwhite" people, the disabled, LGBTQ folks, anyone who wasn't exactly the right level of conformity, it wasn't.

    Also the Cold War, polio, fallout shelters, TVI, and more.

    The 1960s.....drugs, Vietnam, the draft, riots, the Space Race, JFK/RFK/MLK and other murders of leaders. Women's Liberation, civil rights, pollution, hippies, LBJ, Nixon. Incentive licensing, appliance operators, TVI...

    The 1970s....Watergate, stagflation, Iran hostages, Japanese radios taking over the market, repeaters.....


    Heck, many of those who say "the quality of life was so much higher then" would be dead today if all we had was the medical care of "back then".

    And.....information. There was cheap surplus everywhere.....but manuals and schematics, not so much.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2019
    WD4ELG and KV6O like this.
  6. W0AEW

    W0AEW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Life was different before personal computers, cell phones, ICs, and so forth. Not better or worse. Just different.
    WD4ELG likes this.
  7. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Radio was much better before radio. Marconi ruined everything!!! ;)
    N2EY likes this.
  8. KN4ULD

    KN4ULD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I really need to dig up a photo of my late father in law's van with the mural on the side, and letters above "Stoned Age"
  9. KJ5T

    KJ5T Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I am a millennial so I was born into the digital era so can't really comment on life before the digital era except anecdotally. Like with anything there are pros and cons, but I think the pros of technology outweigh the cons. There are many examples where there are trade-offs. One for example is due to the fact that everyone has computers in their pocket people (myself included) really don't memorize a lot of things. For example one of my colleagues yesterday was asking me if I knew the formula to calculate the mass of a sphere, and I didn't and maybe I should remember more stuff from my schooling days but never bothered to memorize formulas that I can ask my phone to give me.

    The con of course, those of us millennials might have a harder time if we lost the technology that we have, and who knows if we would learn to survive or not, I like to believe I have enough common sense to think I would be able to survive without the technology.

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