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A lumbering uneasiness characterises our own mal de millennium, which makes the angst of the 1980s feel like light-hearted fun. One aspect of this is our apparent inability to look beyond the first couple of decades of the next century for fear that they might bite. Another is the way we characterise the experience of the past half century exclusively in terms of devastating rapid change. This means we never confront the apparently contradictory truth: that some things, usually ones ...

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