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fallenmystic

Governor
The problem with idyllic golden ages is, that they actually never were. The 'Belle Epoque', the Beautiful Epoch, as the era from 1889 to 1914 is called in France and Belgium, is a hindsight after the attrocities of the First World War. But there were lots of problems too. The same for e.g. 'The Golden Sixties'. Reading contemporaneous reports and witnesses from now elderly people, indicate that the 1960 had their economic problems as well, and that some had difficulty to find jobs as well. The streets were not paved with gold, then.
I largely agree that it's often our desire to console ourselves by condeming the contemporary society rather than admitting that we are no longer as young, energetic, and hopeful as we once were that creates the notion of a 'golden age'.

However, I also feel like there are always a good few things left behind when society as a whole gets better with the advancements of culture and technology. Probably we look back fondly at The Belle Epoque more as a progenitor of many modern ideas or trends rather than as a period from which point we have seen the decline of anything significant (e.g. art or quality of life... well, maybe except for clothes since I often wish people still kept their fashion sense from their Victorian or Edwardian age ancestors).

However, I definitely feel that a few things were actually better in the 60s or 80s. Without intending to condemn anyone's personal taste, I believe that the general quality of popular music has seen a striking decline since "The Golden Age of Pop" as people often say. It's not that I think any modern song you may like is somehow inferior to the ones I listen to myself.

It's more about the general atmosphere of the music scene as a whole, or about the ratio between highly original ones and those manufactured like a factory product. Take any arbitrary year between 1963 and 1969 and count how many songs you recognize from the Billboard Top 100 of that year. Then imagine how many songs from the last year you think would be still recognized and loved in 2080.

I have a little 'theory' which I think could explain why the general quality of music has actually declined over the years but I won't delve into it here since it's already become such a long post (sorry, it's one of the incurable habits of mine. I even tend to produce such a wall of text when I write in my native language on any subject.)

So, I think while the world as a whole becoming a better place, there are always a few good things happened to be left behind. As a professional programmer, I by no means resent the advancement of computer technology, for example. But when was the last time you saw children playing outside (at least they don't where I live, not anymore) rather than each silently fiddling one's smartphone forever, like he or she is a part of the network?

Maybe it's just how our society progresses in general, always moving forward while occasionally stumbling, backtracking, or even dropping something from our pockets to be replaced with new things that we find along the way.
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
but those are very romanticised versions of an imaginary England that seems to be being recycled today
The problem with idyllic golden ages is, that they actually never were.
We live complicated lives, and these past times look romantic and simple and almost restful to modern eyes.
I think part of the attraction was probably of a fantasy world, but one close enough to home for kids to imagine themselves into it - not unlike some of our fantasies here, I suppose
I beg to differ slightly.
The first film is idealized, certainly. But it is trying to evoke a world before WWII where so much horror and death occurred. In that sense, it was an ideal time compared to six years of having your loved ones dying in the war.
The second film depicts the war years. Yes, it shows some of the 'heroism on the him front, but the shots of the fires and destruction of the blitz is real and awful, hardly ideal. (BTW, Eul, I understand that there were over 500 German air raids on Scotland with over 2,500 killed). To an extent, it is nostalgia for a 'better' time, but a remembrance of when we were young and we fought together and survived.
For me, I love seeing the 50's and 60's, not as an ideal time but as the time of my childhood with all the memories, some fond and some not.
I did not mean to offend.
To bring the saga up to @old slave 's youth, the 50's
 

Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
Continuing the march of time, London in the Sixties. Note the radical change in fashion and style, so much more color! At 2:16 - wonder what they sold at Domino Male? And the iconic shot at 4:22 - two blokes, two birds noticing each other - somethings never change.
For some reason, some pictures begin repeating at 6:30 but new ones also appear.
 

fallenmystic

Governor
I think part of the attraction was probably of a fantasy world, but one close enough to home for kids to imagine themselves into it - not unlike some of our fantasies here, I suppose :D
For the record, I don’t have a big wooden cross at home... I may have considered it if my home was larger than 3 square meters, though :D
 

phlebas

PRIMUS POENUS
Staff member
What an absolutely splendid idea. ;) :idea::devil:
They will have left school, right, all over 18 ? :)
It's a tempting story all right.

Speaking of stories, the Hitchhiker's Guide recommended always carrying a towel. Well done girls!

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Praefectus Praetorio

Brother of the Quill
One of the books that had the greatest influence on my thoughts and philosophy was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, by Robert Pirsig. More of the little understanding I have of classical Greek philosophy comes from this book than from the philosophy classes in College (although, I concede that I was more sober when I read Zen than when I attended classes :oops: ) A brief but well-thought-out review:

I do highly recommend the book, though it takes a good effort and some patience.
 

fallenmystic

Governor
One of the books that had the greatest influence on my thoughts and philosophy was Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values, by Robert Pirsig. More of the little understanding I have of classical Greek philosophy comes from this book than from the philosophy classes in College (although, I concede that I was more sober when I read Zen than when I attended classes :oops: ) A brief but well-thought-out review:

I do highly recommend the book, though it takes a good effort and some patience.
I may be able to relate a similar story. Perhaps a major part of my understanding of what democracy means and how it is supposed to work came from reading this book:

While it's mediocre at best as a sci-fi novel (the writer can't even tell the difference between the effects of zero gravity and that of vacuum, for instance), it's highly engaging to read and can be a great thought provoker too.

The main question the story asks is what could be the reason to support the worst sort of democracy if there is the best possible kind of absolute monarchy as an alternative.

The book provides convincing arguments in defense of democracy and I think it succeeded, from the fact that it has influenced me enough to become a political liberal as I grow older.

P.S.: I just skimmed through Amazon reviews of this seiries and I was amazed to see how many people failed to perceive the political message which is the main pillar of the whole story. The political aspect is not even subtle, as things like Paris Commune is frequently mentioned and it's brim with dialogue lines as this:
Political corruption isn’t just politicians taking bribes. That’s just the corruption of individual politicians. Political corruption means the people aren’t free to criticize politicians for taking bribes. You banned free speech. For that alone, you aren’t fit to criticize the despotic Imperial government or Alliance politics.
Many people seem to heap praises upon this 'sci-fi fiction' without noting any of its political aspect, or even get it completely backward, in some occasions. I see more than one reviewers complaining how the novel is trying to justify dictatorship (just because it had to assume an absolute best kind of a dictatorship to make the question more significant - if it was a matter of choosing between an evil emperor and a perfect democracy, we don't need such an epic story to know the answer, as Star Wars would suffice) :facepalm:

But probably the fact that even those people still managed to enjoy the story and give it high review scores may attest to the narrative quality of this epic saga.
 
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Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
It's logical that the floating iceberg will respond to a change in the location of its center of mass ...
.... but that it happens so quickly and decisively is unexpected :eek:

Since these people seem to be in the business of professional adventuring I guess they're also prepared for some setbacks...
The iceberg must have been in very fragile and unstable floating conditions, being top-heavy. Whatever they prepared for it, they clearly did overestimate its draught, to my opinion.
 
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