Annihilation of Space and Time

Even though in the scope of human history, a century ago or so is like a blink of the eye on the calendar; the mindset and perception of space and time, and just all around human experience is vastly different. Someone living in 1400 compared to 1500, probably lived in a very similar manner, with a few exceptions. The same can not be said for those living now compared to the late 19th century-early 20th century.  While there were important inventions during the time period mentioned like public banking, psychiatric hospitals, Gutenberg’s printing press and the discovery of America; these things really did not change the course of everyday life for the masses. You still were probably a peasant or laborer, who unless you were wealthy, made your own clothes, grew your own food, etc.  The landscape and institutions of your village and country may have changed hands to new rulers or may be under rule of a new empire, but they were largely the same in how they looked and felt; i.e. you still got your water from the same fountain or stream all your ancestors had and got your horseshoes from the local blacksmith who’d been taught that trade from his father and his father’s father and so on. The whole world to you was the town or village you were born, lived, and died in. Nearly all the people you knew, products your consumed, and news you heard all were from inside that village. But the time around 1880-1920 saw more technological change in history. In less than a century, the whole world and how you related to it had changed dramatically for the masses. By the 19th century most people living in US cities and Europe the enjoyed a standard of living higher than the kings of the middle ages.

The change is mindset and perception during this time is largely due to inventions like the telegram, telephone, rail roads, photography, and the electric light.  These things completely altered the human experience from how it had functioned since the beginning of human history, about 200,000 years ago. For 200,000 if you wanted to tell someone something who lived 100 miles away from you it took days. With the invention of the telegram, you could now send a message to someone living across the Atlantic ocean, in just a few minutes. Or with the telephone, you could now actually talk into a device in Chicago and your mom in San Francisco could hear you as if you were right there in the room. These devices enabled humans to connect and share ideas at rapid rates that had never been available before. Space and time were no longer a boundary for communication. Railroads which ran across the country connected the rural to the urban. The trains that ran on them had the ability to efficiently deliver goods from across the nation.  This changed a lot things for a lot of people, as before this, your main job in life was to grow enough food to feed your family, and this was a painstaking and time consuming job which left little time for much else.  The improved transport of goods enabled you to eat food from beyond your own borders.  It may be winter in New York and you were stuck eating canned vegetables and potatoes, but it was sunny and 85+ degrees in California where oranges and grapes were growing, and could now be shipped to you. Often times the food and products people were starting to consume had traveled further distances in a week than they had their whole lives. This phenomena essentially disconnected you from the land that you lived on and had depended on to sustain you.


Posted: January 29th, 2018
Categories: Uncategorized
Comments: 1 Comment.

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