This week I watched "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" and couldn't help but realize how far I've come. No, not necessarily career-wise but …well… in pure years.
Glancing at my handsome avatar you might easily be deceived and even attempt to argue; "But no way, Ruud, you look like a young grasshopper — and anyway, age is all in the mind, the mind man!"
OK… Well then let me tell you this.
You know you're old(er) when you know "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" is a sequel, the fourth (count 'm: four) movie.
You know you're an old hand when you know that for years the only digital medium the Indiana Jones movies were available at was the LaserDisc, a medium you would want to explain by saying "it's like a DVD but the size of a record" only to realize you dug yourself a hole and now have to explain record. So let's just say that size-wise LaserDisc is to DVD what wide-screen television is to your wrist watch. It's friggin' huge.
The year "Raiders of the Lost Ark" came out, 1981, was the end of innocence as the "free love" era ended in Los Angeles with the first recognized cases of AIDS. I think I speak for all pubescent boys from that time when I quote "hey! not fair!".
Months before, the Sinclair ZX81 home computer has started selling. It comes with a whopping 1 Kilobyte of RAM but no Internet connection. Had it had one you couldn't do anything with it because Internet Service Providers didn't exist. There was no pressing need, no urgent market demand, either because there was no world wide web. Tim is plugging away at whatever and it will take at least another 8 years before he slams a document on the desk of his boss and says "let's hook the suckers up man!"
1984 sees the release of "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom".
The year of famine in Ethiopia, Live Aid, "Do They Know It's Christmas Time?". Crack hits the street. Dell Computers start and the Mac's are sold. The longest baseball game in Major League history is held (over 8 hours played over 2 days). The UK and China sign an agreement to hand over Hong Kong to China in 1987.
It is In the year "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" comes out, 1989, that Tim kick starts the world you and I know so well, the virtual one we live and work in, with his paper "Information Management: a Proposal".
It's an astounding year, thrilling: change, world wide change, is in the air. Afghanistan is free. Hungary creates a hole in "The Wall" by tearing down miles of barbed wire along its fence. Two million people form a human chain of 600 km/370 miles long to demand freedom from Russian occupation. We watch, and in Europe we celebrate, as Germans from East and West use their bare hands to give physical reality to US President Ronald Reagan's 1987 challenge: "Tear down this wall!"
Of all people it is the human rights activist and opposition leader Václav Havel who becomes president of Czechoslovakia. Chili and Brazil hold their first free elections in decades. What started out as a small protest became well over 100,000 students peacefully demonstrating at Tiananmen Square.
GPS satellites are launched. The Guildford Four are set free. The Separate Amenities Act in South Africa is scrapped: people of every color will use the same rooms, spaces, transport…
We see it all "live", often on CNN. We see it recorded on the news. We read it in the newspaper (physical copies, often through a subscription).
And today? Today it's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" in a year that sees a barrel of oil sell for $100 for the first time ever. Smoking bans wave over the world, from Canadian and US cities to Thailand, Portugal, France, the Netherlands and other countries. A US-based mortgage crisis sends shockwaves through the financial world — and ours. Food prices go up so high, so fast, severe riots and so-called "unrest" break out in Senegal, Pakistan, Egypt and other countries.
China and Greece are hit by the worst snow storms in 50 years. A 271 page report says global warming induced climate changes will wreak havoc on U.S. crops and forests.
It's 2008, as the US broadbrand penetration growth drops to 17th place. "We" in North America are among the smaller Internet minorities with Asia being the largest online group.
Last year Technorati released 2006 numbers showing Japanese to be dominant blogging language with English quickly shrinking.
The era of cheap food is over. Change is ahead. Huge new markets are about to open. If, like Search Engine People, you're constantly familiarizing yourself with "the world at large" and are able to service potential clients just as easily in Arabic, Spanish, French or Dutch as you do in English, your economic outlook is amazing.
Yes we can!
The world is changing, young grasshopper. It is the right time to press ahead, brother. It is the time to shape our own futures, sister.
Do it now, now.