Nostalgia is not what it used to be

uk 75

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My father was born exactly thirty years before me. Many of his childhood books contained visions of the future
as drawn in the 1920s and 1930s.
Although my father took an interest in the Space race and aircraft like Concorde, as a middle aged man his
interests were in the world of his grandparents: steam engines, windmills, old furniture etc.
In my middle age I found myself hankering not for the marvellous progress of the late 20th, early 21st century
but for the unrealised dreams of the 1960s: TSR2 and co, the Boeing SST.
Fortunately (for them) I have no children to ask about their nostalgia. But it does seem that Nostalgia changes
from generation to generation...
This site covers a number of generations, so the above may find an echo... If not, nursie will be along shortly
with my warm chocolaty drink..
 

Deltafan

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Well,

as a teenager, I was dreaming of Science Fiction, reading a lot of SF comics and books, and I was interested in history too (WW2 in particular).

At the end of this teen age, the interest in aviation was coming too. Alas, a medical visit destroyed my dreams. And the hope to work in an helicopter (but not as a pilot) was a little later abrogated by another professional opportunity...



Today, no more SF books, a few SF comics, some SF movies or series, but less and less, only the best (from my point of vue). But the interest in the conquest of Mars and the finding of other liveforms in solar system (even if they are bacteria and even if it's fossile of bacteria) or on exoplanets (for exemple as traces of protein in the atmospher of a planet) is big now (and bigger the older I get...).

Interest in history moved (in particular) to XIXth century (crossing of technologies), later to the crossing between medieval and renaissance times, later too to napoleonic wars and now to crusade times (because of a lot of templar sites near my retired home).

Interest in aviation disappeared during 20 years, but to reborn 20 years ago in history books, models and comics, focusing on futuristic planes of the aviation history and the history of french aviation, in particular from the 30's (I like crossing times of technologies, and I am interested in why french aviation lacked this crossing during the 30's, in particular for the engines).


It seems that, for me, subjects of Nostalgia did not change a lot, but moved from dreaming times to (attempts to) understanding times ;)


Alas, today, apart SF, nobody in the family is or was interested in these things.
Maybe the little children of my nephews, when they will be teenagers and when they'll see all my History and aviation books, will have a nostalgia fiber... :)
 

Jemiba

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Nostalgia : Apparent memories of times, which seem to have been better, than the presence.
At least, that would be my definition.
My interest in aviation started, when I saw two MiGs flying low over the northern parts of West-Berlin,
probably in 1965. Back then, I captured that scene, with my then current technology, not once, but
many times. One of those evidences actually survived in my fathers knick-knacks, proving, that it were
MiG 17. But that's already nostalgia ..
Still today, that's the era of my special interest, post-war until the '60s. WW II ? Was more interesting to
my father, those aircraft (if they were German) could have won the war. Nowadays aircraft ? Yes, interesting,
but to me lacking the uniqueness of the older ones. But this helps in discussions about, say, the F-35 ...
During that era, there still were big projects and taxpayers money was spent hand over fist, without
any enraged citizens forming citizens' groups or taking legal actions. Not to be misunderstood, there are
many cases of the latter kind, I actually sympathise with, but times seem to have been simpler back then.
Since many years, I'm not a model railroader anymore, but if I were, my model railroad layout would be placed
in the '60s, when there still were steaming locomotives ! I really had a good childhood and yes, at least partly,
I would like to get it back now. What I can have is looking at stuff from that time, when trying to find sources
about aircraft, or something like that. Nostalgia ?
 

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Foo Fighter

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The average citizen had little idea what their governments were really doing then with little in the way of journalistic enquiry. Now we have the internet and every comment by a politician gets to be examined under a microscope. Every penny is explained even if it is not always in great detail. If we knew then, what we know now, would we be in the same place?
 

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I would slightly disagree with Foo Fighter. Access to more news isn't improving what we know or accountability. Cases like the Supermarine Swift and TSR.2 were long debated in newspapers and television (the latter applying to TSR) by a whole swath of defence journalists and other interested parties, people wrote books on the subject. Some knew what they were talking about and others were clearly just blabbering to justify their own personal opinions. I guess with the Cold War in full flow such matters had a more solid importance and relavence to the reading public.
Today we just get snippets of soundbites spun out from a press release or a tweet with no real knowledge. Everything is examined by a microscope but its a pretty blurry one and with little understanding it makes no real impact.
I've read too much in the last few days about HMS Queen Elizabeth like, "a carrier without aircraft, lol","white elephant", "carriers are obsolete", "no use against van-driving terrorists", "we can't use the F-35s without US approval anyway", "typical symbol of Tory Britain a useless carrier" and "Gordon Brown only ordered it to win votes". A total lack of all comprehension and understanding.
If TSR.2 happened now all we'd get are a few soundbites about how the undercarriage didn't work and some smartass tweets like "a plane that can't land, lol, so useful," and nobody would even blink at the costs or political or managerial cock-ups along the way.
 

sferrin

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Foo Fighter said:
The average citizen had little idea what their governments were really doing then with little in the way of journalistic enquiry. Now we have the internet and every comment by a politician gets to be examined under a microscope. Every penny is explained even if it is not always in great detail. If we knew then, what we know now, would we be in the same place?

While most would think placing every word any politician/manager/leader says/writes under the microscope is a good thing. . .I'm thinking maybe not. All it's done is create better liars and intimidated those who might have been more bold into submission. Why do anything risky when you'll be raked over the coals in front of the uninformed by those who can make a buck off the controversy? It's ridiculous.

Re: Nostalgia, as a kid I looked to the future. Couldn't wait for the space colonies and robots. I lived on science fiction. We could accomplish anything if we decided we wanted to. Today? God, what a miserable time to be alive in the West. It's like living in Idiocrisy, with mediocrity and failure being rewarded while success is criticized and punished.
 
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Ian33

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Re: Nostalgia, as a kid I looked to the future. Couldn't wait for the space colonies and robots. I lived on science fiction. We could accomplish anything if we decided we wanted to. Today? God, what a miserable time to be alive in the West. It's like living in Idiocrisy, with mediocrity and failure being rewarded while success is criticized and punished.

Space colonies, solar system wide adventure upon the back of the wildest craft of the time: the nuclear Orion. Boom or bust into the cosmos, and USA to UK and back on a machine that soared across the atmosphere, skipping itself across the things edges of space.

Now? They get a prize for one test flight of a system that would of been seen as myopic idocy that lacked balls, brains and adult supervision the 70s and early 80s. Sad days we grow old within. The dreamers are dying to be replaced by the entire melting of their precious minds because a statue is nasty and real effort is.... non-inclusive.
 

Foo Fighter

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Hood said:
I would slightly disagree with Foo Fighter. Access to more news isn't improving what we know or accountability. Cases like the Supermarine Swift and TSR.2 were long debated in newspapers and television (the latter applying to TSR) by a whole swath of defence journalists and other interested parties, people wrote books on the subject. Some knew what they were talking about and others were clearly just blabbering to justify their own personal opinions. I guess with the Cold War in full flow such matters had a more solid importance and relavence to the reading public.
Today we just get snippets of soundbites spun out from a press release or a tweet with no real knowledge. Everything is examined by a microscope but its a pretty blurry one and with little understanding it makes no real impact.
I've read too much in the last few days about HMS Queen Elizabeth like, "a carrier without aircraft, lol","white elephant", "carriers are obsolete", "no use against van-driving terrorists", "we can't use the F-35s without US approval anyway", "typical symbol of Tory Britain a useless carrier" and "Gordon Brown only ordered it to win votes". A total lack of all comprehension and understanding.
If TSR.2 happened now all we'd get are a few soundbites about how the undercarriage didn't work and some smartass tweets like "a plane that can't land, lol, so useful," and nobody would even blink at the costs or political or managerial cock-ups along the way.

And yet, we have sites like this. Would there have been a similar outlet way back? No. All of the news was sound bites with very little in the way of interest to look for more. We are much more likely to find information now than ever before.
 

Jemiba

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Foo Fighter said:
... We are much more likely to find information now than ever before.

True ! That's a big advantage of our times, you can type in a search keyword even in your mobile,
when you're miles away from the next inhabited settlement, not to speak of a library. And you'll may
get better results, than decades ago with days of browsing through catalogues of libraries. The information
principally was available back then, too, it just was very difficult to find it.
And yes, that's a good thing, no doubt.
But coming back to the original keyword "nostalgia" in the title, I sometimes have the feeling, that in
those days, it was more enjoyable to find, what you was looking for, simply because it was a harder way
to get there.
 

uk 75

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Thank you all for some fascinating insights
and thoughts.
This site performs a similar function to the old fashioned
clubs where enthusiasts can swap tales and info.
With thr advantage that old themes can be revisited at a few
key strokes. The information held here would certainly have amazed me when I was young.
 

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