This week has been full of memories spread over the last 30 years.
So 30 years ago, in Sept 1981 I had left school that summer and had started work at what is now known as BT, What brought back memories was that I recently went to a year of 1981 school reunion, Not the type that you see in the Cinema but a good old fashioned drink, Judging by some of the Facebook comments after, some may have drunk a tiny bit too much, But hey that’s what makes these things fun. This brought back many memories from school including the feeling of impending terror as we heard the clicking of Mrs Alcocks heels heading towards us. But also the good times, School trips, Bunking off and Under-age drinking in the very same pub that We met in for the reunion.. It was really strange and really great to see people Ive not seen in 30 years, and in many cases see how little people have changed.
I will now step forward 10 years to September 1991, I had now left BT which by now had gone through many changes, and was now cycling across Nepal,
Travelling across SE Asia by as many different means as possible, including a Smuggling Boat from Singapore to Sumatra before finally arriving in New Zealand. This was a great and in many ways a care free time for me, Cycling where I wanted when I wanted.
Moving forward to 2001 I was now married and We didn’t know it but the World was about to change. The week started as normal, I was in Ipswich at NTL’s Network Operations Centre training staff. The 11th started as normal The mornings training had gone well, but then just before 2pm there call from the NOC, We rushed in to see the feed from Sky on the screen and people standing transfixed, staring at a burning tower on the screen, We continued to stand transfixed as the second plane hit. The day continued in a surreal manner as companies called in asking why they could get though to their US offices. In many cases this was just congestion because the lines were busy but in some cases this was for what was by now a far more obvious and chilling reason.
That was 10 years ago and it heralded a change in the world order, and its fair to say not for the better, We are in a recession again as it was when I left school in 1981, War unrest and intolerance abound as it did in Kosovo and the Gulf in the early 1990’s.
So what has those 30 years brought us for the better, Well the one massive thing has been the growth of the Internet and communications, This has allowed people to get and keep in touch in a way they never would have been able to back in 1981 or even for that matter in 1991. Social media has made the World a smaller place, You can Tweet or post on Facebook as soon as something happens and its read on the other side of the world almost as it happens. Perhaps a Tweet is finally proof of the “Butterfly effect”* be it a 21st century one:
*”The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly’s wings might create tiny changes in theatmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in another location. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events”
This effect was most recently seen in the Middle east where dictators have been overthrown and people liberated.
So maybe in the next 10 years the flapping of those tiny wings will bring peace and stability again to this world,
Lets all hope so.