Did you catch 2018’s most memorable demonstration of media illiteracy? When a white-haired US Senator asked Mark Zuckerberg how Facebook’s business model could be sustainable if Facebook was free, teenagers around the world buried their heads in a collective ‘facepalm’. The generational divide, culminating in Zuckerberg’s almost kindly reply, “Senator, we run ads”, is nothing new. Given the pace of technological change, will today’s educators quickly require an ‘update’?
One afternoon in the 1950s, a man is listening to The Boat Race on the radio. He is partaking in an activity so quintessentially British that it is of little concern to anyone outside the United Kingdom. But the man is not listening in Oxford, Cambridge or London. He listens on the island of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean Sea. Britain is his self-described ‘mother country’, and he is, himself, British.
This picture, of the man in the Caribbean tuning into radio waves from London, was painted with vivid affection by his grandson, Martin Forde QC, during the ‘Race in Britain’ conference. This anecdote went straight to the heart of the event: who is included in our imagined community of fellow citizens, and who is not?