“…seven or ei…

“…seven or eight people dined together the other night the first ten minutes went in saying how very difficult it is to get about London nowadays; was it quicker to walk or to drive; did the new system of coloured lights help or hinder? Just as dinner was announced, somebody asked: “But when were picture galleries invented?”, a question naturally arising, for the discussion about the value of coloured lights had led somebody to say that in the eyes of a motorist red is not a colour but simply a danger signal. We shall very soon lose our sense of colour, another added, exaggerating, of course. Colours are used so much as signals now that they will very[6] soon suggest action merely—that is the worst of living in a highly organized community. Other instances of the change wrought upon our senses by modern conditions were then cited;” – Woolf, Virginia, Walter Sickert, A Conversation, (London: Hogarth Press, 1934)

Virginia Woolf wrote those words less than 100 years ago. Apparently, “coloured lights,” were a dramatic change in technology and daily life for Londoners–a topic of dinner conversation, versus what we mean when we talk about technological change in conversations today, often characterized as “small talk.”


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I tend to watch wheels go round and around.