Written: February 24th 2010
Today I had a revelation: sitting in my chair, reading a fictional novel by the bright sunlight streaming through my window, I realized that electricity had only been in use by humans for about a century. As I was contemplating this, and the sheer technological advancement of the last century, I heard a cheer go up from the 300 people around me. Surprised, I looked up, and saw that the first goal had been scored against Russia in the Olympics. ‘Oh right,’ I think to myself, ‘it’s 4:40pm, the hockey is on.’ Pressing the buttons on my armrest, I change the T.V. in front of me to the big game, and glance out my window through the clouds to admire the glacier-topped mountains thirty-five thousand feet below me. My ears pop as the captain announces the weather in the city where I will be landing shortly, and I try to imagine how mind-blowing this situation might be for someone who was born in the 1880s rather than 1980s.
In this day and age, when we talk about ‘development’, we never stop to consider that we ourselves are developing at a remarkable rate of change, and that any nation who didn’t begin their ascent with the affluence and influence that countries such as Great Britain…*GOAL!* …or France, or even Russia, I suppose (although we’re still beating them in hockey) started with, who is still keeping up with us in terms of economic prosperity and social development indicators must be a great nation indeed. It is mind-blowing to consider that whole countries are simply skipping points of technological development which we underwent, such as landline telephones, and jumping straight into portable internet phones – The UN is projecting over 5 billion cell phone accounts, over 1 billion of which are broadband accounts also, by the end of 2010. This is mind-boggling, considering the current population of the planet.
There is something remarkable and empowering about being on a plane full of cheering Canadians while the national men’s hockey team battles for a medal forty-thousand feet below and 400 kms away.
– Sarah Topps