Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Confluence Of Old And New

Many years ago, down some stellar back street of a parallel universe, I was lecturing to a group of students about the potential impact of "new technology". This was over thirty years ago when new technology was represented by an early Apple Computer bolted onto a dinner trolley so that it could be wheeled from lecture room to lecture room. I well remember standing in front of a group of students and saying something like this :

"Within our lifetimes, these things will revolutionise the way all manner of things are done. In thirty or forty years time you will be able to tell your grandchildren that in the old days information would be sent from place to place by writing it down in ink on bits of wood pulp, folding up such messages and placing them inside paper bags, paying men and women to carry them up and down streets and drop them through slots in a door. They will look at you in amazement, because the sound of a stout envelope dropping through a letter box will be foreign to their ears...."

Oh I could tell a good tale back in those days and my predictions were not too far off the mark. But thank goodness there are a few people still left who commit greetings in ink on the back of pasteboard cards and that happy sight of a postcard falling through the letter box can still make a twenty-first century day that little brighter.

I was reminded of all this the other day when a card arrived from my Sepia Friend Mike Brubaker. He was in England on holiday but we couldn't meet up because whilst he was on my continent, I was on his. He was visiting a gallery in Newcastle and found some fine old Sepia postcards and - I am pleased to say - couldn't resist sending me one. Here is Mike's postcard to me and my return postcard back to him. By sharing them with my other friends via the Internet we have a confluence of old and new technology.


  1. I eagerly await the postman these days, not so much for the bills, but to see what Mr eBay or Mr Amazon had sent me.

    1. Very true, I never predicted the growth of on-line commerce.

  2. ha. i like the postman i have a nostalgic romanticism with receiving mail...other than bills of course...its been so long since i got any...ha.

  3. I don't have much to look forward to in the daily mail, but once in a while, there are pleasant surprises.

  4. How delightful that you both came across the ideal card for each other. How very appropriate they both indeed are!

    I do hope that next year works out for your meeting; I think you will greatly enjoy each other's company.

  5. A very apt post given today's headline news about the Royal Mail being privatised. I wonder what will happen to our snail mail now. I wonder if we'll still be able to send real post to anywhere and everywhere. I think we might have to queue up to collect it from an office. I l already have to do that with parcels.

  6. Even now we could predict some great changes. I keep telling my wife, who doesn't deal with computers, that there will be some things that can only be done by computer.

  7. I love to get real post. We have to go to a communal post room near the gates to our community for our letters, but there's nothng more cheering than our post lady on her scooter shouting "Hola!" and beeping her horn; it usually means books!

  8. And is this postcard now converted to an "Instagram" because I have read it here first before the Royal Mail and US Postal Service have exchanged mailbags? A fusion of technology indeed. Thank you for the surprise cameo blog spot, Alan. I'm sure our respective holidays inspired us both, and one day we will catch up on tales to tell in person


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