* * * * * * * * * *
We all think about rapid technical evolution,
but it does seem like cultural evolution has stopped cold.
When they play a Led Zeppelin record on the radio,
it isn't far from fitting right in.
Hey: That record was made 40 years ago.
Suppose you're back at that time when we were standing in line for the record store to open. It's Album Release Day for Led Zeppelin II. It's October 1969.
Look the same 40 years back, but from that point; back from October 1969. That puts you at October 1929. Jazz was just getting started, and jazz bands had banjos and tubas. Radio was just getting started. There were movies but sound was just getting started.
The whole Great Depression didn't happen yet. The whole World War II didn't happen yet. The whole Fifties didn't happen yet.
It was still six years before color film. You still saw people riding horses. You had to live in a city to have electricity. You shoveled coal into your furnace. Nobody heard about air conditioning yet; it was only in a few printing plants. It would be 20 more years before you'd see ballpoint pens.
If you went to 1929, you'd be on a planet so different
it would be hard for you to survive.
That's what "40 years ago" meant in 1969.
"Forty years ago" now is barely noticeable.