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Frank Hovis

Three Score Years And Ten

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When would have been the best time to have lived them?

I know that through the vast majority of history 90%+ of people were slave / near-slave status so let's assume that you are moderately well off and middle class.

I would go for 1830 - 1900; when Britain went from a European power to the ruler of the world and new achievements and tech were happening all the time.

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I'd like to have lived in 50's/60's America

Although I have no interest in it at all, if that makes sense. No point thinking about what you can't have. (I don't listen to Elvis for example as it's not of my time, but it would be if I had)

All in all (Tech, lifestyle, personal freedom, etc etc) the 1990s was probably a good a time as any to be on this particular damp little rock. 1925 to 1995 for me then, I guess.

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In hindsight - its looking very like the 90's were the high point for the UK.

Imo anyway. Not that I can say much about the 70's or before to be fair.

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How about Athens, born around 500 BC? Golden era of Greek Theatre (contemporary with Σοφοκλῆς, though he lived well over 90 years), and your 70 years end a little before the main Peloponnesian War leaves Athens in trouble.

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How about Athens, born around 500 BC? Golden era of Greek Theatre (contemporary with Σοφοκλῆς, though he lived well over 90 years), and your 70 years end a little before the main Peloponnesian War leaves Athens in trouble.

Nah, I prefer the 90s with Blur vs Oasis, Rave, the Spice Girls and Fat Boy Slim!

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How about Athens, born around 500 BC? Golden era of Greek Theatre (contemporary with Σοφοκλῆς, though he lived well over 90 years), and your 70 years end a little before the main Peloponnesian War leaves Athens in trouble.

Well, as long as you were a male citizen, and not a slave, or, God forbid, a woman.

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Well, as long as you were a male citizen, and not a slave, or, God forbid, a woman.

Hmm, OK, I guess this was a little pre-Λυσιστράτη. On the other hand, it would make your mother a contemporary of Σαπφώ.

[edit] Damn, slipped a century there. Σαπφώ of Ερεσός was already ancient history.

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I would go for 1830 - 1900; when Britain went from a European power to the ruler of the world and new achievements and tech were happening all the time.

You are Flashman AICMFP.

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Hah, three score years and ten. My grandad was convinced that was it when he reached seventy ("I've done my three score years and ten"). In the end he live until he was ninety-three.

Best time to be alive (I'm assuming in the UK)? If I had wealth perhaps late eighteenth century, or just maybe Roman. Less wealth might've been OK then if you were (very) lucky. For a more ordinary position, and if you can somehow ignore factors like world wars, the 30s don't seem too bad and a fair number of the real hardship issues had been sorted for most people by then. By the 60s they pretty much all had been and most improvements since have been fairly superficial and the fundamentals largely crapper, so no point in being around later than that (although the stuff they were building then was even worse than now so it may have looked worse at the time).

So, with the benefit of hindsight I'd possibly take my chances with the wars and go for being born around 1900.

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When would have been the best time to have lived them?

Professor Mick Aston was asked this question by Tony Robinson on a Time Team Special and, quick as a flash, he answered:

"Now! Now is always the best time to be alive!".

Mick.jpg

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Professor Mick Aston was asked this question by Tony Robinson on a Time Team Special and, quick as a flash, he answered:

"Now! Now is always the best time to be alive!".

Too much of now is too busy, noisy, superficial and characterlessly depressing, so I can't help thinking anyone who says that is a bit gaga, and is why I'd shove it back as far as I can before general living conditions get too unpleasant.

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Professor Mick Aston was asked this question by Tony Robinson on a Time Team Special and, quick as a flash, he answered:

"Now! Now is always the best time to be alive."

Yeah. But right now I know I'd much rather be my nephew's age. To have the 'net throughout one's adult life ....

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I would go for 1830 - 1900; when Britain went from a European power to the ruler of the world and new achievements and tech were happening all the time.

You would probably die from typhus or one of the three global cholera pandemics in the 19th century.

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Too much of now is too busy, noisy, superficial and characterlessly depressing, so I can't help thinking anyone who says that is a bit gaga, and is why I'd shove it back as far as I can before general living conditions get too unpleasant.

I take it you don't, for example, try to heat your house as warm as 10 degrees? And you wouldn't consider going out anywhere more exciting than a greasy spoon, and that only on special occasions?

Or are you looking back with rose-tinted spectacles?

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Oh how original, the tired old "rose-tinted specs" drivel. Some people need to stop looking a the current world through them, and the past through crap-coloured ones.

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Oh how original, the tired old "rose-tinted specs" drivel. Some people need to stop looking a the current world through them, and the past through crap-coloured ones.

But don't you appreciate the irony of moaning on the internet about how shit modern life is?

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Yeah. But right now I know I'd much rather be my nephew's age. To have the 'net throughout one's adult life ....

Think I'd have hospitalised myself if I'd had the 'net when I was a teenager!

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Up until the first world war.....or up until today, but being born 70 years ago will mean I will be dying today.....I don't want to die today so I will not be tempting fate.;)

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Throughout pretty much all of human history, life has been brutish and short. The current model where we expect not to feel too much pain and live a long and possibly productive life is an aberration rather than the norm. As an example, I would have died at the age of 21 of appendicitis.

Things were even worse if you were poor - and in those days poor meant 'destitute' rather than 'unable to afford Sky'. For 99% of people it was a case of 'work, then die', nothing else.

So unless the question is 'if you were one of the 0.1%, would you like to have lived in another time', then my answer is no. For the rich, any time during or after the industrial revolution would be interesting. Massive rate of change, empire approaching, then staggering prosperity up to the 1930s. As others have said, post war USA would be been a very good time to live.

I think it is a little disingenuous to say that more happen in the past, and that it was somehow more interesting. We get the impression that (say) the 1800s were fast paced and interesting because we cover them in 2 history lessons or by reading a book in an evening. 'Now' definitely has lot more going on.

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