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.

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…

Movies, movies, movies

It’s Oscar season again.

I love the Oscars. I rearrange my schedule just to be home to watch the show, including the pre-shows.

When I lived in Australia, the time difference was such that I had to spend the day (Monday) in complete communication isolation. I didn’t want to find out anything before it was shown on TV later that night during primetime (many hours after the actual ceremony had ended). I wanted a surprise. I didn’t want any spoilers. It’s magic. It’s special. And I’m almost completely alone in this belief

In the weeks leading up to Oscars, I try to watch all the major films. This year is no exception. I still have a few to see but I also have a few days left.

Nevertheless, here’s my review of recently watched movies (in no particular order):

  • Precious – Good, somewhat disjointed story. Great acting. Interesting cinematography.  7/10
  • 500 Days of Summer – Good, funny, quirky; not a love story.  6.5/10
  • Men Who Stare at Goats – Hilariously funny; dry, black humor; major “suspend your disbelief” movie.  7.5/10
  • District 9 – Awful. Couldn’t even get to the end.  3/10
  • Inglorious Basterds – Really good…but then I love Tarantino.  8/10
  • The Proposal (Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds) – Funny and touching but completely lacking in originality. Predictable. Outstanding moment – Ryan Reynolds naked with towel around waist.  4/10
  • The Blindside – good story, very engaging. Not sure Bullock’s acting is Oscar worthy but she does a good job playing a real person.
    THEN I read an Oscar preview blog and found out something’s that made me reconsider how much I enjoyed the movie upon first viewing.  7/10

Still to watch:

  • The Hurt Locker
  • Avatar
  • Up in the Air
  • A Single Man

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!