LEARN THE THREE NEW R'S
In a world moving so fast that many people are already frightened,
few know where to go. It isn't easy. The dazzling array of computer,
video, electronic, and lifestyle magazines is making life even more
And that's what it is. This "New World" is already becoming so
strange that compared to the land Columbus discovered our new world
makes his practically Picadilly Square.
Like the "Stranger in a Strange Land" depicted in Heinlein's
classic novel, his former world had changed so much. He didn't now
know the language (Here today: The 3 R's RAM, ROM, RUN) never mind
understand the nuances, the hieroglyphics, the music (Thriller") or
the mores (terrorist activity) of his time. A similar phenomenon
happened at the turn of the century when most of the North American
population was illiterate. Those that did not develop writing skills
could not keep up socially or economically with the rest, and therefore could not profit from the new emerging technologies (steam and
internal combustion engines) of the Industrial Age.
The social changes, in many ways, were more of a shock than the
new hardware. (Women working! Children not following in their
father's footsteps. Really!) It was not surprising then to find an
increase in the suicide rate. For those who resisted the change the
change was even more frightening. They no longer could keep up with
their contemporaries. They couldn't understand the new language.
Strange writings took the place of familiar barber poles and chemist
symbols. Many took the easy way out. It became a household word that
lasts even till today. It was there illuminating every home. "He
took the gas pipe." Some chose suicide as protection from the
technology of the day.
It will not be that different this time.
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