Rip Van Winkle, Washington Irving’s 1820 tale attributed to old Diedrich Knickerbocker, tells of a rather lazy New York Dutchman named Rip who resided in the Catskills. He drank too much at the bowling alley one afternoon, sat down under a tree, probably about 1770 or so, and slept for 20 years. When he woke, everything had changed. There was a new George presiding over a new nation. His beloved dog and his feared wife were both dead. His old house was in shambles, the familiar tavern gone, and his trusty flintlock was rusted. His beard was too long and his clothes were out of date, and he didn’t know where he was. But as he soon learned, not much had changed after all.

The same is true for someone who might have taken a long nap around 1980 and woke up 20 or 30 years later. The Cold War is over, and Russia was again an ally, joint-venturing in space. Yuppies had matured and their kids were now X, Y, or Z generation, their eyes glued to hand-held gizmos with images of people interacting. Sex was openly discussed — even demonstrated — on television, which now came on a flat screen rather than in a big box. Typewriters had disappeared, replaced by laptop computers, and the old wall telephone had been replaced by some kind of ubiquitous cellular gadget named for a berry that also played awful noise called rap, sent e-mails, and took photographs. It was a computerized world; all communication was preceded by

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free
PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader.


  • All news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including and

Already have an account?



Join PropertyCasualty360

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed decisions for your P&C insurance business. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including, and
  • Exclusive discounts on PropertyCasualty360, National Underwriter, Claims and ALM events

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join PropertyCasualty360

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.