This was striking to read; it's absolutely impossible for me to imagine a pre-telegraph world with such utterly slow communications where people nevertheless had friends and family separated by years of latency.
It makes me appreciate the significance of the electric telegraph and of long-range communication that is not limited by the speed of any physical vehicle. I recently read a short romance novel (called "Wired Love") published in 1880 about two telegraph operators who meet online (well, on the wire), use spare time on the wire to talk (and flirt) with each other; and eventually fall in love -- before even having met each other IRL or knowing each other's IRL names! There's even a quite modern impersonation that happens -- someone else steals the identifier of the operator the main character is in love with, and proceeds to be an rude asshole to her. Almost like IRC nick stealing, except a century or so earlier! The antics involving the telegraphs were, amusingly enough, the least antiquated part of the novel, as there's an entirely shocking amount of aspects of Internet communication/relationship practices that have pretty clear equivalents in that telegraph-era book. For example, the main character disdains the telephone and prefers the elegant and more technically-involved telegraph, she and her partner "clasp hands" over the wire in the same way people do "/me hugs" on IRC, she gets called crazy for laughing to herself and "smiling at vacancy" while telegraphing with her online lover -- and after they've met IRL, her suitor even installs a private telegraph wire from her bedroom to his. There's something quite endearing about reading an old novel and realising that the people with access to real-time text chat more than a century ago might have used it in quite similar ways as people use it today.
So my great grandfather just decides to get on a boat in Latvia and sail to Australia. I'm really not sure why. He settles and sends for a bride. One comes. They've never met. They marry and have a bunch of children.
The wife's family is from Latvia and the Ukraine. She writes back and forth to her family over the next 20 years. I'm not sure what the latency is on communication here but I imagine at least 6 months, best case, more likely closer to 12. The last letter she received from her family was in 1937 and it was heavily censored. This of course being Stalin's USSR at this point.
Now it never really occurred to me that in this time there was such long lines of communication but in hindsight I guess there had to be because what was the alternative?
All of this was just a century ago too. Taking 6-12 months to communicate with family. Marrying an unknown bride. It's really quite bizarre.
Go back two centuries and it's even more surreal. One relative has a stated occupation of "scutcher". What's that you might ask? (I know I did). It's one of those English words that's now largely unknown and searching for it leads to a list of pre-Industrial Revolution jobs that don't exist anymore. A scutcher is someone who bashes flax seeds for linen fibers, a job later done by machines.
Can you expand on this a bit?
Wouldn't the character recognize that their lover's tapping pattern had changed?
As in "Wouldn't the character recognize that their lover's fist had changed?"
This is such a beautiful ending to the article.
I think we are experiencing a whole new world right now, where anyone can be almost anywhere by the help of technology. This will of course be discussed in the future who knows how.
Give yourself a day or two every month without computer or mobile phones, code editors, or programming discussions.
Enjoy the life, discover things, spend more time with family.
Edit: Can mods please remove the blog name from the title. It translates to "rose hip soup" and is rather out of context :)
The model for Jack Aubrey, from the Aubrey-Maturin novels (and the movie Far Side of the World). A couple of the later books involve Chile.
But sure, you could become a sailor, or get conscripted to soldiers, or even sold into slavery to a distant land. Doubt though that was the kind of travel the GP alluded to.
Another coworker "Jim" asked Bob "You're related to Charles Darwin? And you grew up on an isolated island?". (either Brier Island, NS or Long Island, NS I don't really know).
Jim was trying to get Bob going by stressing that Bob grew up on an island isolated and tried to convince Bob the people in his home town and island evolved differently due to the isolation.
I live on an island too I found it funny but I don't think Bob cared or knew what Jim was trying to say.
> I agree with what people have already said, but I think there's one more point to add: people usually over-estimate how funny their own comments are. We have a tendency to think, "This idea of mine is hilarious! And different! Surely this witticism is the exception." And we are usually wrong. When you have N people all doing that, there's a lot of noise.
> I try to gently point this out to people who complain when their attempt at humor has been downvoted by the community. It's not that we don't like humor. We just don't like banal attempts at humor, which becomes noise. Or, put in a less charitable fashion, "You're not as funny as you think you are."
However, there is a clear and marked difference between users "showing me they don't like my humor/post" and having the moderators step in and start warning me to stop. And to imply that this is somehow an ongoing issue with my posts?
No, he can just ban me and get it over with.
and just so we're clear, had he not made the comment he did, this entire "conversation" would not be occurring.