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The Lost Decade

The Blog From The Smog

The Lost Decade by Teessider Forever

First Published: 02/01/2010 19:09:15

The Noughties are over. How did that happen? It seems like we’ve unplugged the earphones on our iPods, looked up from texting, and a whole decade has passed. So what will the Noughties be remembered for? The first two things that spring to mind are reality TV and terrorism. The unreal and the all too real.

The Noughties started out with the Millennium bug not really happening and the dot-com bubble bursting, and ended with the credit crunch. But what has happened in between? If the Eighties were about excess and the Nineties were the caring decade, what were the Noughties?

Well, the World Wide Web has really caught on. Obviously it was there in the Nineties, however through the course of the last decade it has really found its feet. It has survived the wide-eyed optimism of the dot-com bubble, brushed it self down, and come of age. Google Add Google to your favourites, founded in 1998, probably wasn't used much outside of academic circles in the 2000, however it now it’s the weapon of choice of most web users who don’t really know where they are going. Amazon Add Google to your favourites has grown into an online hypermarket, and it’s difficult to deny the brilliance of Wikipedia Add Wikipedia to your favourites. Sites like eBay Add eBay to your favourites, YouTube Add You Tube to your favourites, and Betfair Add Betfair to your favourites have also caught the imagination by doing things we hadn’t really seen before.

Then there are the social networking sites. At the beginning of the decade there was Friends Reunited Add Friends Reunited to your favourites, then there was MySpace Add MySpace to your favourites, and now almost everyone is either on FaceBook Add Face Book to your favourites or TwitterAdd Twitter to your favourites

If the Noughties are to be remembered for something good, perhaps it is the technology. We are now communicating in whole new ways. Who had a mobile phone at the beginning of the Noughties? Who now doesn’t send or receive at least a dozen text messages a day. Pagers are now a thing of the past, and instead we carry around a phone that we rarely use to hold a conversation. The said the devices we carry around in our pocket these days are much more than telephones. Mobiles are now multi-tasking marvels with the Apple iPhone setting the benchmark following it’s release in 2007.

Apple also set the standard back in 2002 for MP3 players back in 2001 with the release of it’s iPod. With it away went the need to lug around tapes and CDs, as you could have your whole record collection and a few movies in your pocket, inside a sexy white box. Even the need to buy CDs expired too. Why bus it down to HMV when you can download your earworm from iTunes Add iTunes to your favourites in an instant.

Then there’s gaming. Sony set the standard in the Nineties with their Playstation and then upped it a gear or more with the Playstation 2. Launched just in time for the new millennium the PS2 went on to sell 140 million times.

Microsoft threw their hat into the games console arena in 2002 with their Xbox. In direct competition to Sony’s Playstation 2 it allowed us to play against other gamers online. That was new.

In 2006 Sony came straight back at Microsoft with the Playstation 3. The PS3 featured an online gaming service allowing it’s users to take on each other across the internet as Xbox gamers had done previously. The PS3 also includes a decent sized hard drive and a decent Blu-ray player, making it much more than a games console and more of a multimedia entertainment centre.

While Sony and Microsoft slugged it out Nintendo became a bit of a bridesmaid. That was until 2006 when they caught the bouquet and released the excellent Nintendo Wii. The Wii took the console in a different direction. While Sony and Microsoft saw the future as immersive graphics and online battles, Nintendo took an about turn and made the whole experience more immersive. The Wii required you to move more than your figures. In doing so it kind off resolved an issue with games consoles, i.e. that the kids of today aren’t getting enough exercise. All we need now is a console that pumps in some fresh air to.

Perhaps that’s when we will remember the Noughties for? Maybe it’s the on-demand decade. Whether it be a track from your iPod, a blockbuster movie from Sky+, a quick game of golf or tennis on the Wii, or just text to ask your significant other to pick up a bottle of milk on the way home from a hard day's Facebooking and/or Twittering. We now live in an instant society with communication and fun instant and literally at our fingertips.

The thing is I used to quite enjoy hopping on the 226 to Middlesbrough to buy my tunes from the HMV. Couple that with a Big Mac and a quick letch at the girls in Danglers, and you had a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. The teenagers of today won’t get that.

This is all progress, but then maybe we need to look up from our technological immersion occasionally and take a look at the world around us. Why can’t that genius at Nintendo, who came up with the Wii, turn his attentions to all the killing and conflict. Maybe there’s a different solution than shooting the most bullets or exploding the most bombs. Can’t the fellas at Sony and Apple convince our politicians that there’s more to protecting the environment than negotiating quotas, and that we have to make some real changes fast.

So what about the next decade? An end to terrorism? It doesn’t look like it if the past few days are anything to go by. The death of reality TV? I would think X Factor and I’m a Celebrity… will be with us for a few more years, however Big Brother appears to have had it’s day and the recent Rage Against the Machine campaign prevented a fifth straight Christmas number one for X Factor. Maybe cracks are appearing. There was talk of a knighthood for Simon Cowell recently. So what would that before then? Surely not services to music? If music be the food of love then Cowell has turned it in to a Big Mac. Not that I have anything against Big Mac’s, but I would imagine I would like Kobe beef too. OK Leona Lewis and Alexandra Burke can hold a tune, but their output isn’t really exactly adding anything to the musical tapestry. Good that he packs them of to America though.

What will the next decade from 2010 to 2019 even be called? The Tenies or the Teenies doesn’t really work, so how about the Acnies? All spotty,  full of hope and generally misguided.

Captain Technology Cartoon

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A general and mostly ill-informed rant about the world and beyond from an ever so slightly cynical northerner.