I’m thinking that one of the reason why things have been changing so much and so fast is immediacy. When it took several hours or even days to hear about the death of a monarch, and if people weren’t hearing about it all at the same time, then it’s not surprising that the reaction was not quite as concerted and overwhelming, as, say when JFK got shot or Diana died. When the population can travel long distances quickly and cheaply perhaps it’s not so surprising that deaths are characterised by mass flower laying at the scene or even people lining the route along the motorway route of Diana’s funeral procession – such shows of emotion could just not be achieved by a population with limited and slow transportation. Of course, we may have achieved instant news, but we are still only on the way to instant travel. We may have achieved just-in-time production, but how close are we to just-in-time market research? Whatever – immediacy is a driver of the age – and virtual reality is round the corner with instant presence.

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