Every now and again, I think about the vast amount of data which is at our fingertips in today’s world. This morning, I was looking for a plumber. Typing ‘plumber’ into Google gives 86 million results in less than a second. In a moment of nostalgia, I also opened the Yellow Pages – at only 128 pages of A5, I fear an older generation wouldn’t recognise what used to be a volume large enough to hold open a door. Indeed, my grandparents’ generation obtained its knowledge from books – every home had an encyclopedia. Now, every home has multiple digital devices which can access Wikipedia in the blink of an eye. You look up the largest cities in the EU, click on Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh out of curiosity, then on Burgh, Borough and before you know it, you’re also looking at a list of the London Boroughs, learning the difference between those with and without royal patronage… and the search goes on, an hour has easily disappeared.

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