Alison H wrote:
I started my economics A-level course in September 1990. The whole course was based around the difference between free market economies and planned (i.e. communist-style) economies. The Berlin Wall had come down in November 1989 and communism was collapsing at a rate of knots. The Soviet Union broke up in December 1991, 6 months before we did our actual A-level exams. There was no time for the examining board to rewrite the syllabus, so we just had to go with it all
You get similar issues with some science courses, when you're dealing not with classical science, but with currently active fields. I was was marking an exam once where the fairly recent textbook was outdated, due to discoveries over the past couple of year. The lectures covered the new stuff, so you could easily spot who had come to lectures, and who skipped classes and studied the textbook only. I was seriously impressed when one student referenced a new result from that had only been released a day or two before - the students had studied the experimental method, but at that point there had been no actual results.
I find that the perception cultural references changes with time. So a modern novel with references to Facebook, Twitter, Trump and the new Star Wars movie will seem very current, but a book from the 90s talking about VHS, Yahoo, Mariah Carey and Nancy Kerrigan will seem jarringly dated, and a book from the 30s which references radio broadcasts, Shirley Temple, and swing music will be enjoyed for its historical interest.
which frequently references current events, pop culture and technology was very with-it when it came out,
will seem jarringly dated, but a book from the 30s that does the