Sunday, October 28, 2012

Twenty Five Years On

Wikipedia tells me that the BBC TV series Blackadder III aired from 17 September to 22 October 1987, Thursdays at 9.30. It was one of the very few programs airing I felt inclined to watch that year -- and even so, I forgot to turn the box on for about half the episodes, being on late enough that either we would have already been doing something else after supper, or maybe even thinking about retiring for the night. Or, given that we'd taken a somewhat suspect tree down in the garden of the new house -- fortunately ahead of the not-a-hurricane a few days before the last episode -- it's quite likely that I might been in the garden feeding the smaller branches and twigs (not suitable for firewood) into an incinerator.

And so it would have been about this time, shortly after the series had ended, and I calculated that we'd spent more per program (taking the then current license fee pro-rata) that year than the two of us going to the cinema instead would have cost, that we gave the box the heave-ho.

And that was before home computers of any note, and four years before I even got on the internet at work. As Tim Worstall pointed out today, its opportunity costs like this that, trading off one form of leisure activity against another, that are going to be contributing to an observed trend away from the original idiot box.

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