Well, we've got to that time of year when everything winds down (at least in the design world) until the second week of January. And of course it's no exception here. I'm going to be piling a few logs on the fire and supping a glass or two of the finest port (a drink that I only ever drink at this time of year). There may be a post or two, but don't expect daily updates - otherwise you'll just end up disappointed.
And it's also that time of year when everyone starts looking back at what's happened during the previous 12 months. Have I done that sort of thing before? Because, honestly, I can't remember. But others are at it, from Binky the Doormat (for whom I am one of his online highlights, for some - at least to me - mysterious reason), and the anonymous Ben (who's got nine more posts to put up in the next 36 hours: good luck with that one, Ben), through to Michael Johnson, who might or might not have compiled his list before the end of the year.
But, actually - and to be rather more serious than I am sometimes apt to be - I've found myself reflecting back upon the past ten years. And what's happened in this first decade of the 21st century. Not the fluffy stuff (like how great the iPhone is or how awful the London 2012* logo might be), but those things that couldn't have been predicted - or, if not predicted, were perhaps beyond our comprehension back in 1999. (*Granted that none of us predicted that particular logo, now did we?)
Of course, it all started with this little fella:
The Millennium Bug. Because on 1st January 2000, we half expected not to be here at all. Or, if we were, that the world would have ground to a halt around us. But it didn't, of course.
And for me, purely from a personal perspective, it's Web 2.0 that's had the most profound impact. I couldn't have predicted ten years ago that I would become 'David the Designer', and that you would be reading this right here, right now from wherever you are in the world. Or that if you typed 'Cow Gum' into Google, you'd probably end up here. As I said to a friend only the other day, I feel as though it's my blog that now defines who I am. If only I could earn some money from it, though. Maybe I have to revise my views about advertising, eh?
But that's enough of me. What about the wider world?
Meanwhile, over on the other side of the globe, Shanghai went from this in 1994:
(via my China correspondent)
...to this, less than 15 years later:
(via Warren Rodwell)
Just imagine if that had been Manchester. And what might happen in the next ten years.
And one final thought - from Mahatma Gandhi: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."