All the difference a day (and many years) makes

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In a briefing in 2009  we took a long view of human history – well 100 years anyhow.

This week we have been thinking of a 30 year time frame: due to an event celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the BBC microcomputer and the massive changes that piece of kit heralded and a health care project that is looking three decades into the future.

We have stopped and thought about how the world has changed since 1982. ‘The Lion Sleeps tonight’ was number 1 in the UK this day thirty years ago, and in the time from then to today we have seen the collapse of the singles music market, whilst computing has moved rapidly to stylised phones with the ability to play music (as the technology for listening to music has cantered through CD and mp3 to streaming). In UK health care, spending has rocketed and HIV and many cancers are long term conditions.

It is easy to take the perspective of the ‘boiled frog’ and miss the many sings of change going on around us. In the FT this weekend, Simon Kuper lists a number of reasons to be cheerful  from growing GDP per person, increasing life expectancy and lowering fertility. And if you don’t like that, in The Sun Jeremy Clarkson challenges those who have been saying 1976 was the best time to be a child- he reckons today is best with Adele, iPods and better hay fever tablets (over Showaddywaddy, cassette tapes and boxes of tissues).

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