Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Progress III

Can we stand in the way of progress? Did protest ever change anything?

Now the line is destroyed at Dawlish, TPTB may be regretting that Dr Beeching closed alternative rail routes to Cornwall in the 60s. ("The mass closure of railway lines in the wake of the Beeching Reports in the 1960s was a colossal error." London Review of Books, Dec 2013)

[In Portsmouth] the planners came up against popular opinion, and lost. (London Review of Books, Dec 2013)

cabvision (gone by 2011)

smoking in pubs (now a memory)

that horrible pink and green 80s carpet in London's Barbican Arts Centre has gone (and so has the huge pastel mural that tried to disguise the starkness of the concrete interior)

Fewer and fewer sharks are being slaughtered for their fins, and shark-fin soup restaurants are closing down in Japan.

The Vietnamese communist government set up collective farms. They were unproductive and there was a lot of corruption. In 1986 the government abolished the farms and many private coffee plantations sprang up and flourished. (Earlier, the Russian collective farm experiment resulted in a famine.)

Ian Nairn’s Outrage was published in 1956. He coined the word “subtopia”. In the 70s, nobody ever told us that people had been protesting against the destruction of old buildings for 20 years.

Early American settlers didn’t celebrate Christmas (it’s a pagan festival), but it slowly came back into favour.

Mixed-sex hospital wards were introduced, loathed, and phased out.

the Pedway (A “boldly stupid” idea to connect London with walkways. They have almost all gone and now we miss them. But for a long time there were places where you couldn't walk at street level – you were supposed to take a walkway that hadn't been built yet, or had been shut.)

Word’s helpful assistant “Clippy” (a talking paperclip) was removed after widespread protest.

But sadly, the people who say they are going to "rebuild the Crystal Palace" want to build a modern business complex on the site. With maybe a couple of cast-iron columns somewhere...

More here, and links to the rest.

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