Friday, June 23, 2017

You Want a Revolution

The purpose of this email is to bring the Friday-night dinner table full-circle. Please forward / like / tweet ....
In memory of my grandmother, Yehudis bas Alexander, whose yahrzeit is tonight.

Ultimate spinnerHere's a great question for your table tonight:

What do the following all have in common?

Hula-hoops (1950s)
• Frisbees (1960s)
• Yo-yos (1970-80s)
• Spinners (2010s)

If you want to say, "Short-lived fads that made somebody a millionaire", that would be to easy.

Why were they fads? What do they have in common?

Notice how they're all versions of the same basic idea: a round object that can be moved in a circle, used to pass time.

Notice also how they shrink over time.

The hula-hoop was trying to address a problem: How do you get people who don't want to move, to move?

It turns out that hula-hooping takes a lot of effort and practice.

So they said, if you're not going to move your whole body, how about at least your arm?

In comes the frisbee.

But that's a lot of effort, and requires you to actually go outdoors.

In comes the yo-yo.

But that didn't last long - it too takes time and effort to get really good at it.

(And it turns out that yo-yoing is an artform.)

Right about that time, home video games became popular. Beginning of sedentary America.

And finally someone thought, maybe we could at least get them to move a few fingers.

In comes the spinner.

The reason spinners are going to disappear about as quickly as they appeared is because they are too easily lost or forgotten.

But that's OK. Because we can see the trend and predict where it's going.

Notice the progression — hula-hoop, frisbee, yo-yo, spinner — not only are they reducing the amount of your body and effort needing to be involved, they are shrinking in size.

The next fad - you read it here first - is going to be the spinning ring.

Perhaps like the one above (you can click on that) or one of these.

Rhetorical question for your table: Will it solve the problem? (of course not)

I recently participated in an online conversation with a group of people comparing hiking in nature with playing video games.

Question for your table: Is there any comparison?

The video-game fans were annoyed and sometimes livid that anyone would suggest that sitting there gaming for hours and hours is not true happiness.

This problem was raised in 1964 by a couple of Jewish guys:

By 2015, another Jewish guy was declaring that it's still a problem: 
(Yes, believe it or not,  he's really quite Jewish.)
But just last week, some more Jewish guys seem to have found the solution, and guess what? It's really quite old:

(Hope you enjoy that as much as I did.)

Question for your table: Is the latter a true revolution?

Shabbat Shalom

PS -

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