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You can probably finish that sentence.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same”

That phrase was written in 1849 by French Journalist Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr. He was a newspaper journalist known for his sarcastic wit.

Those catchy phrases were called “epigrams” back then. Defined as “a pithy saying or remark expressing an idea in a clever and amusing way”.

I guess today it would be transmitted by posting a Meme or a Tweet. Same thing right?

What’s truly amazing is that particular Tweet is still remembered 169 years later by just about every person you meet.

It went viral.

For generations.

Ironically even his name Jean Baptiste was not new. He was obviously named after a John the Baptist.

The more things change...

No one would are that we’ve seen a lot of change in a very short time. It’s easy to be confused. Until you realize that our basic humanity, both the good and the bad, is and has been the same for not just generations but thousands and even tens of thousands of years.

I asked respected UW Molecular Biologist John Medina once if man was evolving because of all of our inventions, and our need to multitask. He seemed to chuckle for second, before putting modern man (and me) in it’s place.

To this day what he said makes my jaw drop every time I remember it.

The gist of it was that man has not significantly changed in many thousands of years. Evolution is a mighty slow process. We ain’t gonna notice it.

So it is our environment that is changing-at lightning speed.

Holy shit.

When I watch the NFL, I no longer see the Seahawks and the Patriots. I see two tribes trying by brute force to take each other’s territory and claim the food and women. The football is meat. The cheerleaders dance. There are many injuries.

When I see Politics I see powerful men who want to be chief beating on their chests and challenging each other for power, willing to say whatever they have to in order to get people to blindly follow them. With pitchforks and torches. Think I’m exaggerating?

Heck we saw actual torches in Charlottesville.

As the Talking Heads put it: “Same as it ever was”.

So, how does your smartphone fit in?

In John Medina’s book “Brain Rules” , Rule #4 is that “We don’t pay attention to boring things.”

“We pay attention to things like emotions, threats and sex”.

That sorta sounds like the basis of every movie you ever saw, maybe every piece of media out there, don’t it?

I’ve started to think of everyone I know in a different light. Strip away the smartphone, the hybrid car, and the pillow top mattress, and what are we?

Homo Sapien.

What’s a modern cave man supposed to make of all this?

In the next few days I’ll give you a few theories. And thanks for reading.

These emails are my first step in returning to Broadcasting. I’m enjoying writing while boiling Maple Syrup.

If you enjoy, please share.

Your responses are really appreciated, and so far the mailing list is small enough that I’m able to respond to your kind comments. Over the years I always enjoyed one on one conversations with listeners, and of course it motivates me to work. I’ve become bored with the repetition of social media, though I’m certainly not “Anti-Facebook”, it seems to have the nutritional value of cotton candy.

If you’d like some Vermont maple syrup made my me and my buddies, look for the link at


Bob Rivers

Bob Rivers

Radio Host from age 14 to Present. Currently blogging, planning to launch a new radio show later this year.

Listen to 30 years worth of Twisted Tunes at

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And please help support small local agriculture and latest money losing hobby by purchasing some of Bob and Lisa’s Vermont Maple Syrup.


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