May 20, 1954, "Rock Around the Clock" is released. There will always be some dispute as to which was the first real rock'n'roll record, but at this point the discussion is starting to wrap around the question: Which is the last real rock'n'roll song?
There is a weird argument right now that says people in their 20s don't know how to do anything, either because their parents pampered them or because computers do it all for them.
This is the same argument that's been made since young people were invented (May 20, 1954) and it's more of a comedy setup than a reality.
As always, it depends who you're talking about, and what exactly your asking them to do. As always, there are young people who get a lot done -- Masters degrees, startups, artisanal soap, rebuilding a transmission -- and young people who are going to age and never succeed at anything until they end up in management or Fox News commentary.
The bigger danger is that they will be goaded into explaining how they do what they're doing until our ears bleed. No one needs more Ted Talks.
Back in the Before Times, George W. Bush justified not doing anything about emission standards and climate change by suggesting that in the future there would be wonderful technology that would clean everything up at the push of a button; the nicest, shiniest button ever. No one ever asked how much that button would cost, but he implied you could pick it up at a Radio Shack for $4.95, or $4.27 at the Presidents Day Sale.
Here we are in the future, Radio Shack is gone and that button has not been installed. ...continue reading "Earth at a Tipping Point"