“Cock-Crow” – let there be light

In today’s class we focused on a reading; Cock-Crow found in Gentleman’s Magazine, 1755. The class was divided by six and each of the six groups was given a number from 1-6. The reading was split into six sections, numbered as well from 1-6 and each group read their part and discussed it. Then once we’d talked it over in our groups, the groups split off again and were paired with each number (E.g. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6). So we each had read different parts of the reading. This meant that in each group had read all of the reading between them. I felt I learnt a lot more by doing this, as reading was never my strong suit.

I actually found the reading rather interesting as it talked about how man-made light came about, and the changes that came with it. Around the 1730’s people still believed in ghosts and witches. The only light people relied on was sunlight you see, which meant that once the sun had disappeared and the night came out, the people felt it a dangerous world to be out in, so all the shops closed before night and everyone was asleep in bed. People thought that when night came, that’s when all the ghosts and witches lurked, as nobody would be able to see them.

Once man-made light was discovered though, everything changed quite quickly. All the shops were open until late hours at night, and everything was very much well lit, relying upon moonlight and lamps. Hours that were once dominated by darkness became more familiar. With light came the decline in magical beliefs, like the natural world generally, darkness lost much of its aura of terror and mystery. People were no longer so scared of the night.

It goes on to talk about how light has both pros and cons, such as the nightlife was keeping people up later what with the noise and the light itself. Due to the fact people were staying up till later hours of the night, there seemed to be more crime on the streets. Because of the light, we aren’t as aware of our dreams anymore due to lack of sleep – now that the lights keep us up. Rome decided not to participate for a while as they wanted to keep the night, they didn’t want to change.

We were, and still are to this day consumerists. When we find something new and different that we like, we must have it and it tends to grow to global consumerism. Though a positive to the light was that it led to more scientifical advances and advances in military technology.

Nowadays teenagers are using too much technology, most teenagers’ posses a phone, a laptop and a TV. I’m just talking about a single person here, not a family. Speaking from experience, I personally feel I rely too much on technology, but I’m so surrounded by it that I can’t fight against it. I did an experiment and left my phone at home one day. I realised I used my phone mainly for a time source as I kept digging in my bag for my “missing” phone. So I asked for a watch for my birthday to help me use it less. But I realised how much I truly relied on technology these days and it’s getting ridiculous. On average I try to get 8.5 hours sleep, but some days I find myself up till early hours of the morning and only end up getting less than 5 hours.

The reading was definitely insightful and it definitely made me realise that I was using technology too much, and not only when necessary (for UNI work etc).



REFERENCING

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