-From: email@example.com (Chris Redmond)
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> email@example.com (Marc Riese) writes:
I agree that The Bay is a very special company for Canada for its long and "colourful" history, but I think it's a youngster in comparison to certain European companies (although I couldn't name one). I remember hearing a story of an American company negotiating a business deal with a Swedish steel company. In the proposition sent to Europe, the American company mentioned some reliability concerns and asked for proof that they could count on the Swedish company still being there in a year. In a terse letter, the Swedish firm replied that since they had existed more than four times the age of the USA, they didn't see why they would not be there the next year...
Comparable anecdote #1: At the 350th anniversary celebrations of Harvard University, one speaker said, "Harvard is intimately bound up with the history and culture of the United States--an innovation in which we have taken considerable interest."
Comparable anecdote #2: Someone has calculated that there are in Europe 26 (this number is my best recollection of what was said) organizations that have been in continuous existence for at least five hundred years: the Parliament at Westminster, the Althing (parliament) of Iceland, the Roman Catholic Church, and 23 universities.
-From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Your Editor)
Anecdote #3, told by Greg Benford: At an Oxford college, they were debating what to do with all their money. The consensus was to buy land, since "for the past thousand years, land has proven to be a very wise investment for the college."
The crusty old patriarch piped in, "True, but the past thousand years have been atypical."