Am I that old?

I don’t usually forward this sort of stuff, but I felt this was worth posting. I am not the author and apoligize, in advance, if the credit is given incorrectly.

Each year the staff at Beloit College in Wisconsin puts together a list to try to give the Faculty a sense of the mindset of this year’s incoming freshman.

Here is this year’s list:


[li]The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1982.[/li][li]They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably did not know he had ever been shot.[/li][li]They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged.[/li][li]Black Monday, 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression.[/li][li]There has been only one Pope.[/li][li]They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold War.[/li][li]They have never feared a nuclear war.[/li][li]They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.[/li][li]Tienanmen Square means nothing to them.[/li][li]Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.[/li][li]Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums.[/li][li]The expression “You sound like a broken record” means nothing to them.[/li][li]They have never owned a record player.[/li][li]They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of Pong.[/li][li]They may have never heard of an 8 track.[/li][li]The Compact Disc was introduced when they were 1 year old.[/li][li]As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 33 cents.[/li][li]They have always had an answering machine.[/li][li]Minivans and SUVs have always existed.[/li][li]Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black and white TV.[/li][li]They have always had cable.[/li][li]There have always been VCRs, but they have no idea what BETA was.[/li][li]They cannot fathom not having a remote control.[/li][li]They don’t know what a cloth baby diaper is, or know about the “Help me, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercial.[/li][li]They were born the year that Walkman was introduced by Sony.[/li][li]Roller-skating has always meant inline for them.[/li][li]Nissan has always been Nissan.[/li][li]Babies and small children have always riden in car seats.[/li][li]Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.[/li][li]They think of Bill Gates is some rich old man who invented the PC.[/li][li]As far as they can remember, computers have always had mouses and played CD’s.[/li][li]They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool.[/li][li]Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.[/li][li]They have never seen Larry Bird play.[/li][li]They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.[/li][li]The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI, WWII and the Civil War.[/li][li]They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran.[/li][li]They can’t imagine what hard contact lenses are.[/li][li]They don’t know who Mork was or where he was from.[/li][li]Star Wars came out 5 years before they were born and was an “old” movie the first time they saw it on TV.[/li][li]They never heard: “Where’s the beef?”, “I’d walk a mile for a Camel,” or “De plane, de plane!”[/li][li]They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. was.[/li][li]The Titanic was found? They thought we always knew where it was.[/li][li]Michael Jackson has always looked about the same.[/li][li]Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places, not rock bands.[/li][li]McDonald’s Big Mac never came in Styrofoam containers.[/li][li]There has always been MTV.[/li][li]They don’t have a clue how to use a typewriter.[/li][/ul]

Do you feel old yet?

Nah, I just feel really blessed to have lived in a time when things had not yet been homoginized into the indistinguishable pap that is today’s modern culture.

I feel quite fortunate to have lived in a time when:

[li] Cars could be started without a key.[/li]
[li] I came home to an unlocked house.[/li]
[li] People like Rod Serling and Josheph De Stefano were actually concerned about the quality of television programming.[/li]
[li] Electric rock music was born.[/li]
[li] The highway always went through a town’s business district.[/li]
[li] Christmas trees were lit with candles.[/li]
[li] The Who played at a venue with a dance floor the size of a basketball court.[/li]
[li] Lasers went from bulky expensive laboratory curiosities to ubiquitous components in consumer electronics.[/li]
[li] The computer was harnessed and made to serve humanity in undreamed of ways.[/li]
[li] The Internet would begin to fulfill the visions of its inventors within their own lifetime.[/li]
[li] The automobile and its engine were appreciated as art.[/li]
[li] Plywood was still a rarity in furniture.[/li]
[li] Playgrounds had monkey bars, jungle gyms and tanbark.[/li]
[li] The carnival coming to town was a big deal.[/li]
[li] Grafitti was relatively rare if not totally absent.[/li]
[li] Conversation reigned dominant over television.[/li]
[li] You could hear frogs and crickets at night.[/li]
[li] Soda pop was made with sugar.[/li]
[li] Ice cream parlors still existed.[/li]
[li] There was no such thing as self-service gasoline.[/li]
[li] Government was not solely based upon polls.[/li]
[li] The Berlin Wall fell.[/li]
[li] More people knew how to play musical instruments.[/li]
[li] People wore real felt hats and not baseball caps.[/li]
Polite manners counted for something.

Well, I was feeling old until I read what my beloved Zenster had to say and now I don’t feel so bad.



Having been born in 1971 and not 1982, allow me to present the view from the middle:


[li]My generation has no concept of what it means to lose a war or make sacrifices to a war effort. Ours was fought quickly, cleanly, and with minimal loss of life and destruction of property.[/li]
[li]Women of my era were the first true beneficiaries of the feminists’ struggles of the 1970s. We don’t understand that women were discouraged from becoming professionals, or even working outside the home.[/li]
[li]Shows like Sesame Street and Saturday morning cartoons were shows we watched, not products we bought.[/li]
[li]Politicians and celebrities who screwed up were shamed, not revered and honored with book deals and talk-show bookings.[/li]
[li]My family lived successfully without cable and a VCR for the first ten years of my life. When we got the VCR, it was quite a novelty. Now, it’s just another appliance.[/li]
[li]When we got our first real computer, a 300-baud modem was $300 and there was no accessible Internet. BBSs were mostly long-distance calls. The computer itself was over $2500.[/li]

Now, where’s my damn Geritol? :wink:


I was born in 1981 and the following off that list are false.

Did that one year of experiance really make me older and wiser, or are some people making assumptions to make youngsters look stupid? (Not ignoring the certainty that I am weird, but still.)

1980 here. The scariest thing about that list is that if people that age honestly don’t know ANY of the things on that list… they must be totally disconnected from their parents. Very sad. (I have Kansas in my Winamp playlist.)
Also, the Gulf War was all we talked about at school. Even though we were in grade school (elementary).

To be honest though… some of it puzzles me. (Took a swim and thought about Jews? ?)

Zenster: maybe you could start a car w/o keys… but if someone stole it you could always run after them and get it back :wink:

The list is chock full of assumptions. I know plenty of 30-year-olds who don’t know anything about Tienanmen Square…

Maybe if the shark had performed an impromptu bris… :eek:

This is 1970 speaking. I remember feeling superior to my friends because my first computer had 144k of memory, compared to their puny 64k. I wanted to run a BBS, but no-one had written a BBS program for my cheesy Z80-based computer yet (guessed it’s pedigree?) so I wrote one myself, in BASIC. It took about 20 seconds to save a (maximum 1024 byte) message to it’s “High Speed” tape drive. Also, my 300baud modem did not have an “answer” feature, (why would it?) so I dismantled a joystick, and took the leads from one of the buttons and hooked one up to the bell of an old rotary phone, and hooked the other one up to the clapper, and had my BBS program answer when the “fire button was pushed”. Scotch tape was used as an insulating material.

I also remember the trouble caused by switching over to long neck beer bottles from stubbies-- You couldn’t easily drop the bottom out of them to facilitate smoking hash on hot knives anymore. Toilet-paper tubes just didn’t have the same feel, ya know?

And I also remember having my thumb opened up repeatedly by those old pop cans where you’d pop out two small holes in the top. (Without the “lever” we have now, in the glorious future.)

I also remember being eight years old and realizing that I’d only be twenty-nine in 1999– When we’d all live on Moonbase Alpha with sexy shape-shifters. Boy, do I feel ripped off.

Medea’s Child:
Of course you know more about the “remote past” than the rest of your generation-- That’s why you’re here, with the rest of us Super Geniuses. I myself know more about the 30’s and 40’s than my parents do, (I have hundreds of hours of recorded radio programs,) but it’s not natural, you know?

Also, I think that college faculty are often encouraged to think of their students as completely ignorant to avoid doing poorly by them by taking certain things for granted. My room-mate came home from school one day last year and said that she felt insulted because her english-lit instructor asked the class is everybody knew who fought on which side during the second world war. The thing is, there were people there who didn’t know. Possibly they were too ignorant to live, but they payed their tuition and may as well be on the same page as everyone else. I guess.

I was born in 1981 too, and I think that it would just be easier to copy what DOES apply to me.

Gee, the list gets a lot shorter when you put it up to someone actually from the era. I wonder what age group whoever wrote this was in. :rolleyes:

I was born in 1983, I am starting college this fall, and the following DO NOT apply to me:

Quite obviously, you never had to fill out flow charts and bootstrap the whopping 16 Kilobit ferrite core memory of your Wang minicomputer from punched paper tape through a TTY teletype. There wasn’t even a monitor to have more snow on than my grandfather had to walk to school through yet.

Only the high-end academic instuitutions (like CAL Berkeley and The Lawrence Radiation Laroratory) had monochrome Hazeltine monitors and punched card readers for the pounds of keypunched IBM card decks you you lugged around. Mainframe computers still filled entire basements, cost millions of dollars and required more HVAC environment control than your average supermarket. Certain laptops probably have more computing power than some of those behemoths.

::Michael Palin::

Complain… complain… complain…

::/Michael Palin::
PS: Thanks Arden!

On January 26, 2031 (around 11:33am) will die the last person who heard that special scream that came from a CS major dropping his box of punch cards and seeing them scatter across the floor.

That will be a sad day.

Hah! Thanks, Zenster my bones feel less creaky already. My only contact with punch-cards was filling in multiple-choice test answers on them so they could marked by computer. (How space-aged!)

This is what makes me feel old, having existed in the 70’s:

The television show Happy Days was to us what That 70’s Show is to today’s kids.

Remember that feeling – “Dad, were the 50’s really like that?” – like we were inquiring about a prehistoric era or something.

I swear, the first person who asks me if the 70’s were really like the TV show is going to get a cane upside his head.

You know, I hate it when other people do this, but this very list was posted about a week ago in this forum. And made most of us non-closeted-don’t-have-fingers-in-our-ears 1980 births a bit defensive about our perceived lack of intelligence…

Some of those top ones I would be suprised if people who were born in the 1990s didn’t know

Of course I have played Pong.:wink: Last year I played Atari in one of my classes whenever the computers weren’t working. I think hard contact lenses are still around

Another thing to add to the list. These people have probably never actually heard a phone RING. Beep, yes. Chirp, sure. But ring?

When I was born…

We had a General for President
Color TV was mostly a dream
We were fighting a “Police Action”
Cars were made out of something called “steel”
What Interstate system?
Manned space flight was still scoffed at.
If you wanted to watch a tv show again…
you were s
* out of luck
Marbles was still a big game.
Professional sports was played mainly for the love of the game.**