I often tell people that I was either born 150 years too early or 150 years too late. I can't address the 150 years too early part of it. Who knows but we'll blow ourselves up 149 years from now or a comet strike will rip the atmosphere off of the planet?
However there are things that are better about today than 150 years ago, and with a glass full rather than a glass empty philosophy, I'll explain:
2012 vs 1863
- Bandwidth. Yes, the Internet sucks, but let's face it, if you're reading this, you are addicted too.
- Automobiles. I like my BMW. I also like a horse. But the care and feeding of a horse can be a pain in bad weather or if you're in a hurry.
- Dental Hygiene. I like electric plaque elimination systems (they don't call them toothbrushes anymore do they?) and dental floss. In 1863 unless you pulled your teeth or had them pulled, they'd rot and kill you. Today, worst case there is dental bonding.
- Air Travel. When I travel by air, I travel first class, not because I'm an elitist jerk -- I simply prefer to have my ass kissed than to not have it kissed. In 1863, it took a long time to go anywhere. Today, it's the matter of buying a ticket and booking a hotel and rental car on line, having an airport limo pick me up at home and drop me off at the airport. The biggest concern is whether I have enough downloaded books on my Kindle to take me through the flight if I'm bored or or have already seen all of the twenty or so movies offered in First Class.
- Cell Phones. I hate them - I love them - I hate them - I love them.
- Climate Control. Forced air A/C and heating on on demand. I also prefer long hot showers where I don't have to make a fire to enjoy the warm water.
- Electric lights at the flip of a switch.
- E-Mail. Better than snail mail, or the pony express.
- Without prejudice to the Little Red Hen, the idea of sewing, watering, harvesting wheat, then milling it, baking it cutting it and then serving it, I can either drive-through or go to the store to get sandwich fixings. Little Red Hen Process - 3-5 months. My process 5 minutes. And I can have chicken on my sandwich - oops, sorry hen.
- Firearms. While all of you know that I'm disarmed and helpless, many people do have more advanced firearms firing fixed ammunition which are an improvement on cap and ball available in 1863.
- Clothing. Levis are Levis 1863 or 2013. Some things can't be improved on.
- Sex. I think that it was more or less the same in 1863 as it is in 2013. Some like it hot, some don't. (There are a lot of STD's out there in 2013 that hadn't percolated out of the jungle in 1983)
- Music. You had to listen to it live back then. Now there is i-pad, i-pod, i-phone, i-whatever and noise canceling headphones. The music available in 1863 was limited. I prefer the options and delivery devices in 2013.
There are things about 1863 that appeal to me - but I don't think that I'd want to serve in either side during the War of Northern Aggression/War of the Rebellion/Civil War. More people died of camp illness than died of wounds inflicted by the enemy. I'm not opposed to camping. In fact, I camped for a living (US Military) for a while. However, the fun in camping reaches its limits at some points.
If I had lived in 1863, I think that I would have been the Sundance Kid. I'm better looking than Robert Redford, I'm sure that I could shoot better than the character that he portrayed because I'd also have a scoped rifle (available in 1863), I'd have had the sense NOT to go to Bolivia - and Katherine Ross (who played Etta Place in the Hollywood Production of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid) appeals to me. Or in the absence of Katherine Ross, I could have contented myself spending my ill gotten loot on a remote tropical island -- one without cannibals living on it.