Simplify, what a wonderful word to choose today, a word close to my heart and much better than it’s antonym complicate.
I do get accused by my wife of living in the past and there’s a reason for that, for in the past everything was much simpler, cars for example had a much more basic set up. They required a petrol supply, a carburettor to mix the petrol and air, a source of electricity and a distributor to send the current to the right spark plug at the right time and an engine in which the mixture could be exploded to turn the engine round, simple!
All these years later whilst the petrol engine has retained the same basic principal it has been complicated with the addition of much more electric gizmos, which means when they go wrong you have to plug the thing into a computer to find out what’s wrong with it. Gone are the days when if you could check there was a spark and fuel, you pretty much had all the ingredients necessary for the thing to work.
As a classic car owner I am often amused when I have modern young people in one of the cars who ask what the handle on the inside of the door is for and see the look of amazement when you explain, you have to turn it to open the window. We never had windscreen wipers that went at different speeds, they were either, on or off, early cars didn’t have windscreen washers, electric seat motors and heaters. I’m much in favour of the older cars where there is nothing to go wrong.
Long before even I was born there was just the wireless for amusement, that’s radio, just in case you were wondering and then in 1936 Her Majesties BBC started to broadcast television, even though virtually no-one had a television set to watch it on.
It wasn’t until 1955 that the BBC was joined by another channel ITV, both still showing pictures in black and white. Televisions were very simple to operate in those days, there was a switch to turn it on, a knob for the volume, two knobs for selecting which channel to watch and two knobs on the back to fiddle with to tune the thing in.
Things were so much simpler in those days, there was no such thing as a remote we had to get out of the chair and press one of the knobs to change channels, that’s why we were so much fitter than the youth of today who get no exercise, we were up and down like yo-yo’s. Should the television play up and the picture go fuzzy the technically minded would get up from their chair and fiddle with the knobs on the back and if all else failed a sharp bang on the top or the side would usually sort the thing out.
Eventually we gained another channel Her Majesties BBC 2 which arrived in 1964 and a little while later through the wonders of modern science we had colour television.
Things were far simpler then, we had fewer channels which used to close at night after playing the National Anthem, however you could always find something worth watching, unless my memory is playing tricks with me. We now have hundreds of channels and I can rarely find anything to watch and am constantly going up and down the channels searching and I consider myself lucky we have the remote nowadays as if I had to get up every time I would have died from exhaustion some years ago.
I like the idea of being able to simplify things, however perhaps you have to make them more complicated to do so. Years ago when I was writing something I would first write it in a rough book, then I would check and amend in the book and finally type it up with my typewriter, all very simple steps with very simple tools and yet the process took ages to complete.
Now I find I’m going through exactly the same process on a much more complicated piece of equipment and yet by complicating things it has the ability to simplify the number of steps involved and the time taken.
I have convinced myself, the more complicated computer is the way forward with regard to writing, and much as I enjoy my classic cars I also enjoy driving modern cars, however with regard to television I think I’d like to go with the simpler format of fewer channels, but better quality programs.
Well, that’s the end of my blog for today and as they say at the end of the popular “compare the meerkat” adverts; Simples!