In the modern world we are sometimes guilty of thinking we have a monopoly on disruption and the pace of change, but I was struck this week by a line in the excellent Michael Palin book on HMS Erebus.
When the ship set off on a polar expedition in 1839 there was no such thing as photography and yet when they returned to port just 4 years later the daguerreotype camera meant photos were now part of everyday life.
The central message of the sweeping new Adam Curtis doumentary Can’t get you out of my head is that the world is something we make and can actually be remade differently despite all the hidden forces that have brought us to this point.
It’s been a strange couple of weeks in many ways with lots of optimism and pace around the vaccine and the amazing job staff are doing to roll it out, set against the continuing daily grind of Covid with no let up just yet.
In 1972 a bestselling book warned of a global decline and general downturn for civilisation from the year 2020.
As a prediction “The limits to growth” now seems incredibly prescient although a global pandemic wasn’t really a part of the equation that crunched huge volumes of data on economics, population and industrialisation.
So, I think we can all agree that 2020 has been a pretty terrible year, punctuated by some fantastic good news about the vaccine last week.
While we’re all keen to be positive and optimistic I think there’s a growing recognition that there are still some very hard days ahead especially as winter pressures and another potential wave of Covid19 hits the sector in the new year.