If Rip Van Winkle had slept for 20 years and woken up today…..

Rip Van Winkle was a character in a Washington Irving short story who went to sleep before the American War of Independence and woke up twenty years later in an independent US of A. A loyal subject of the British Monarch, he went to sleep to run away from his nagging wife, and woke up to find that his wife had died, his friends were nowhere to be seen and the British Monarch was no longer of any import in his land. So he “saw” dramatic change seem to appear “overnight”.

If, instead, he’d gone to sleep at the end of 1989 and woken up this morning, these are some of the changes he would have seen:

Costs of compute power



A gigabyte of storage

1GB Memory[2].jpg


The Mobile Phone


Access to the internet/the web



Windows/The Desktop



The march of AIDS

Climate change: The Arctic Icecap



Just sayin’.

8 thoughts on “If Rip Van Winkle had slept for 20 years and woken up today…..”

  1. Under the section “Access to the internet/the web” what is the second image of? It’s an OS I take it but I dont recognise it…

  2. good perspective. even the one at the bottom cant be disputed as the photo goes, however, do not imply I had anything to do about that. Blame the big ball of fire in the sky. wake up from the amusement. (look up the latin root to amusement.

  3. If Rip Van Vinkle would woke up now, after seeing the jallikattu issue, he would go to the Marina Beach at Chennai and will sleep
    again till he gets a permanent solution.

  4. Sam Miller, it was actually closer to about 47 years but writing the story as 20 years made it more believable at that time. In the story, it says he fell asleep but that’s not what actually happened (although it might have seemed like that to the people at that time).
    He’s portrayed as a simple man but if you think about it, he’d actually have to be a very deep and complicated person, for someone of that era, to be able to deal with the sudden change of EVERYTHING, not even mentioning the fact that his wife was dead.
    Actually he gets a new life. Depending on the kind of person he really was deep down inside, he might have done anything with that new life.
    Something to think about.

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