The story goes:
At the end of her life, a famous Parisian courtesan of the 19th century was asked: "You have seen so many changes: monarchy, republic, empire, republic again. Of all the regimes under which you have lived, what was the best?"
"Ah, that is easy to answer. The best was the Second Republic!"
"The Second Republic? But it was so short and unstable and there was so much hunger and suffering!"
"But I was 18 then …"
I think of that anecdote whenever I hear pundits of a certain age reminisce nostalgically about the days when was illegal to own your own telephone.