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Someone recently said that people glorify the past too much.


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I kinda agree with him. People hold on to past relics like dead ideas and outdated beliefs. Recent events have led me to think this way.

But I made it my New Year's Resolution to be more forward thinking, to think about the wave of the future. To think about new possibilities. (For example, space and other scientific and technological discoveries are something I look forward to.)

(Apologies if this is yet another vague post, but I wanted to express a topic without getting too...controversial.)

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I used to look forward to those things, too. Then age and reality set in.

 

 

Edit: Since 2 people laughed, I thought it best to edit and let people know I was not joking. Before NASA's budget was gutted a few decades ago I believed I would actually make it into space even if only as far as Mars. That isn't going to happen thanks to the budget having been so drastically cut (by the Repubs) and the advancements we would have made not happening. Now there's maybe 15 years left in my life. I don't think there is anything funny about that at all.

Edited by Silent Mistwalker
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The older you get, less and less personal future is left. And the ability  to change something will shrink accordingly as well.
Now mileages of course vary, but once the itches. pains and malfunctioning parts in ones body become more frequent and obvious or even chronically, the ability to change things shrinks even more.

I'm 64 now, and I'm more concerned how my retirement funds will hold up against the current inflation and energy crisis and threat of war, than about changing the world to make it a better place to live somewhere in 2040 or so.
The younger generations will have to change the world, if they want a better one than we oldbies left them. I fought for a better world when I was younger too. Now I'll just float my boat in whatever direction politics will decide.

I don't live in the past though, but the future isn't really on my plate either any longer.
I'm not even planning a vacation trip at the moment. Even the short term future is to uncertain at the moment.

Edited by Sid Nagy
Reminder to myself again: Never post before the first coffee. Ugh.
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I don't think the past is something to be glorified.   Rather, it's something we should try to understand, in all its complexity, as an account of how we got to where we are.

Besides, as Faulkner said,  "The past is never dead. It's not even past," which I take to mean that the consequences of past events, and our current understanding of them in a particular context, always continue to play out, and always will.

 

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I think it's wrong to glorify the past but it's worse to deny it, bury it or forget it.  Learning from the mistakes of the past - on a personal as well as a global level - is the only way to avoid repeating them.

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13 minutes ago, Maitimo said:

I think it's wrong to glorify the past but it's worse to deny it, bury it or forget it.  Learning from the mistakes of the past - on a personal as well as a global level - is the only way to avoid repeating them.

Just liking this comment was not enough. This! So much this!

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1 hour ago, Maitimo said:

I think it's wrong to glorify the past but it's worse to deny it, bury it or forget it.

Or try to rewrite it...
In Texas a school textbook was published saying slaves were just immigrants here to work.
Had that been left to stand, students in Texas would think it was true because they learned it in school, forgetting what really happened, forgetting the past.

 

 

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The past is several hundred thousands years long and I hope and believe there's a lot of future in store too. We can't possibly compress either into a single uniform point of reference.

The present is not the best but it's not anywhere near the worst humanity has seen. And, perhaps more important, it's neither the best nor the worst humanity will see.

That being said, the present is our part of the continuing story of humanity and it's our responsibiity to try our best to make the most of it.

I think I've quoted this on the forum before but there's an old rule among Norwegian farmers: no matter what you do, make sure you leave the farm to the next generation in a better shape than it was when you took over. If we can manage that, we can at least make it the best of times relatively speaking.

Edited by ChinRey
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2 hours ago, Teagan Tobias said:

Or try to rewrite it...
In Texas a school textbook was published saying slaves were just immigrants here to work.
Had that been left to stand, students in Texas would think it was true because they learned it in school, forgetting what really happened, forgetting the past.

I can't recall a time in my life when the past was being so furiously rewritten. That Texas textbook incident was not a one-off, and it was not done by a small time publisher.

https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/january-2019/texas-revises-history-education-again-how-a-good-faith-process-became-political

Since tradition is so important to people, you can alter their future trajectory by rewriting their past. I was home schooled by parents (Dad in particular) who quite enjoyed punching holes in the recommended history textbooks (all textbooks, really). That's a tradition I happily continue.*


*Presuming I'm not misinformed. If I am, I'm part of the problem.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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11 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I can't recall a time in my life when the past was being so furiously rewritten. That Texas textbook incident was not a one-off, and it was not done by a small time publisher.

https://www.historians.org/publications-and-directories/perspectives-on-history/january-2019/texas-revises-history-education-again-how-a-good-faith-process-became-political

Why in the world would conservatives want to remove Helen Keller?   They don't want heroic women or disabled people represented in History?

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51 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

The past is several hundred thousands years long and I hope and believe there's a lot of future in store too. We can't possibly compress either into a single uniform poitn of reference.

The present is not the best but it's not anywhere near the worst humanity has seen. And, perhaps more important, it's neither the best nor the worst humanity will see.

That being said, the present is our part of the continuing story of humanity and it's our responsibiity to try our best to make the most of it.

I think I've quoted this on the forum before but there's an old rule among Norwegian farmers: no matter what you do, make sure you leave the farm to the next generation in a better shape than it was when you took over. If we can manage that, we can at least make it the best of times relatively speaking.

Your post made me think of the opening lines to A Tale of Two Cities.

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way..."

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Honestly, I don't spend much time anymore these days looking too far back and too far forward..

Sometimes life gets a little busy..

When I'm relaxing I might dip in a little in either direction.. But lately haven't had the luxury of time to really do it much anymore.

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59 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

Why in the world would conservatives want to remove Helen Keller?   They don't want heroic women or disabled people represented in History?

From that article:
"According to a February 2018 report from the Texas Freedom Network Education Fund, authored by four scholars (including two historians), the 2010 amendments were based largely on the board members’ “own personal beliefs and pet causes,” many of which had no basis in existing scholarly consensus."

You'd have to ask the board members, who I'm sure did their own research.

To be fair, history keeps getting bigger. The brains we try to scoop it into? Not so much. There will always and everywhere be disagreement over what's important.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
Can't seem to scoop all of English grammer into my head, either.
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Here's some food for thought.

The life expentancy in Central Africa today is 51.1 years for males and 55.5 years for females. Those figures are the lowest in the world and of course horrible compared to well developed countries which are all in or at least close to the 80s.

However, life expectancies in Europe in medieval times were somewhere in the 30-35 years range. Even as late as the 19th Century the numbers in developed countries were in the same range as Central Africa today.

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