We live life forwards, but examine backwards

We live life forwards, but examine it backwards. This is something the philosopher Kikergard pointed out long ago. It seems we’re likely to make many mistakes in basing our future, which is forward thinking, entirely on the past, which is looking backwards.

I disagree. We learn from our history, from our mistakes, from out triumphs, from everything we do. We benefit from looking back. The problem is we don’t know when to look back. What I mean by this is that we often look back when it’s too late…when the moment we could have acted up on that which we know has past and our fate sealed.

Today my fate is to be single again. Did I see it coming? Yes. Could I have prevented the pain and hurt by looking to my own past? Probably. I am a better person when there is just me. I knew that before but I had hope that this was someone worth fighting for. I will endeavor to learn from this time and apply it if similar circumstances arise again.

That is why history teaches us…to learn…to keep on learning…to never stop learning.

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What’s more important: electricity or the internet?

With the passing of Steve Jobs yesterday, the web is filled with remembrances of a pioneer and industry legend. It’s a sad day indeed. But it’s also a good day to look back and consider the history of innovation. And how all the inventions and creations of the last 100 years have impacted us. How would you compare the importance of electricity with the invention of the internet? or the cell phone? Can this kind of comparison be made? If you had to lose one of these inventions, which would you keep? And why?

The greatest thing about human beings (besides opposable thumbs) is out ability to think, be creative, solve problems and invent things.

Last year I wrote a paper about how the internet has impacted out ability to form social connections. I did not attempt to draw a positive or negative conclusion, I simply wanted to explore the notion that the internet has not impacted out social world, that it simply changed the dynamic.

Consider this question: how life changing was electricity in it’s first decade or two? I don’t think we’ll see the full impact of the internet for another generation. History is never written in the present. Our internet is a toddler, still trying to get a handle on walking. It’s not until age 5 that children really start looking around their world and ask the question Why? I believe my child will be part of the generation that asks Why and What-for? They will never know a world without the internet, without border-less communication, without a connected world.

Vintage cars

Image by macieklew via Flickr

I think a more interesting comparison could be drawn between the invention of the combustion engine (and the motorized vehicle) and the internet. Both have connected us with parts of the world that we might not have otherwise seen or known about. The have both expanded our horizons and I simply could not imagine life without either of them. Both of these inventions have provided a sense of freedom (something with goes back to yesterday’s topic) in the way we interact and move around within our world. What does that mean for those that lack either one or both of these items? I’m not sure I can answer that. Time will surely tell…

Real People

Are the people in our dreams real?

I don’t mean are they real people that we will meet one day. And I don’t mean that they are real people sharing my dream with me, at the same time.

What I wonder is…are these real people, the images of which appear in my dream. Perhaps it’s someone I saw on the street but didn’t really notice. Or maybe it’s someone I’ve met but don’t remember. Real – making a guest appearance in my dream!

Why bother

So I mentioned to a few folks that I started a blog and most asked “why?”

So I explained to them that this is a place to jote down my thoughts and ideas, sorta like a living diary.

That got me thinking about how technology has changed the way in which we record history…or in most cases how we don’t – at least not in the traditional sense. How will this generation (and the next) be regarded by history? Have we left enough behind so that future humans will have a true sense of what it was like to live in the 20th and 21st centuries?

Then I started thinking about TV & Movies. Will future generations think this is how we actually lived? How will they know the difference between what we call reality and what we call fiction. Haha…reality tv!