I moved the radio to the kitchen. Kept it plugged in but switched off at the socket; no doubt we've all read the articles about global warming - something bad, anyway - being caused by people who waste energy by leaving appliances on stand-by. Yes, It has lots of digital channels; yes, I know that if I ever had five minutes, I could program these numbered buttons to ... and yes, I see how that would be much simpler but ... no, it has never occurred to me that leaving the thing plugged in makes it vulnerable to lightning strikes. Kindly leave the page. I kept it switched off, okay? Enough already.
Thinking about old-fashioned valve radios - as you do - I thought: this digital thing's the same. I turn it on at the socket, and then I have to wait until it's sorted out what time it is before I can switch it on. Then it takes a while (a digital while, in the sense that digital technology has made us impatient with even the smallest delays) to tune itself in. Then it's a radio. A slow one, though. When I actually want to listen to the radio, I use a small analogue thing that I bought for £6.99 - seven pounds - from PC World a month or so back. I've noticed that the pips come earlier on the analogue radio than on the digital one. The point of the pips is to mark the hour, right? Mark it exactly?
Oh, never mind. I wonder whether the period between valves and digital will turn out to have been an aberration - in which we went to the moon, innovated in art, music, culture, blah blah - a post-war aberration, a time of (let's call it) creative tension and real cold-war danger, while everything since the invention of the internet will turn out after all to have been a return to the historical norm in which nothing much changes for centuries. Because we can't do much these days, can we? Everything costs Billions, with at big plosive capital B, and every cost is there to be cut. We can measure every problem and post about it, but, y'know, doing stuff is, like, difficult.
Way back a long time ago, December 2011, the magazine Vanity Fair published the article So You Think You Want A Devolution? by Kurt Andersen. Worth reading, as is much of the reaction you'll find if you put the article's title into a search engine. Andersen kicks off with the observation that fashion changed rapidly back in the transistor age - every decade had its distinctive style - but these days, not so much. We did all that innovative, edgy, clever stuff - went to the moon with no more computing power than you'd find on the back of a cereal packet; went from Woodstock to punk - and now we're back down to tinkering around with our digital selfies.
"What did you wear in the seventies, Daddy?" A question I hope I never have to answer. "What did you wear ten years ago, Daddy?" Easier.