Wednesday, 5 October 2016
Social Changes: Computers, Women And Glasnost
In 1990, Everard retires to his study:
"He didn't let many contemporary people in here. When it happened, they were apt to tell him how much better off he'd be with their brand of personal computer. He'd say, 'I'll look into it,' and change the subject. Most of what they saw on his desk was dummy." (The Shield of Time, p. 177)
in 1954, of course, Everard's acquaintances would not have had personal computers and, if he were to use one back then, it would have had to be well concealed:
"...if you based yourself in a milieu before the technology to overleap space-time was developed, you didn't keep any future stuff around that you didn't absolutely require, and you kept it hidden or well disguised." (pp. 177-178);
secondly, the PC that Everard does use in 1990 seems to be voice-controlled:
"'Give me the file to present date on Specialist Wanda Tamberly,' he ordered, adding sufficient information to identify." (p. 177)
"I'm trying to unlearn. Ladies these days have snapped my head off for being condescending, when I thought I was just being polite.'" (pp. 179-180)
"'I suppose it can be harder to keep track of your birth century than to learn your way around in a whole past civilization." (p. 180)
"He implies that sheer accident - whether a given man does or does not die in a battle - can decide the whole future. That this can be published, and prominently, is a minor sensation itself. It is an early example of the glasnost that M. Gorbachev is proclaiming." (p. 75)
glasnost is a political change and a topical reference that Everard would have known of in 1954 but that Anderson was not able to refer to back then;
whether a man dies in battle does decide the whole future later in this volume.
I thought that there was another social change to refer to...
Quiz question: which four characters are in both Time Patrol volumes?