Barry SCHWARTZ (Barijo ŜVARC) (chemoelectric) wrote,

  • Music:

Looking along the timeline with back to the future

When my elders discussed what they were doing when John F. Kennedy got shot, if I were to join in I would have to say I was napping, because that's what my mother remembered. She was watching the soap operas and I, being two years old, was napping. In short, I was too young to remember it.

Now I'm the one recalling things that others are too young to remember. But, you know, I don't really remember the past at all well. I mean, yes, when I was nine years old and my family was falling apart I promised myself I'd remember what it was like to be a kid, and then I forgot that oath for a few years in my early 20s and then remembered and have never let go of it. It was at school during recess that I made the oath, and I remember that aspect of the past. But what I don't remember well is the world in which I lived.

It's not the stuff like there being no such title as "Ms." or not having computers or hand calculators or the television having tubes in it instead of integrated circuits. I'm talking about the Internet. I've been using this Internet thing since the late 1980s, and now I don't remember what it was like to be isolated from people all over the world, people of all different countries. It really made a difference for me, because I was always much less socially anxious over the Internet than in person, and I was really quite sick in the head, and then all of a sudden I was able to meet people and in fact met my wife that way, when to do so was still a novelty.

One wonders what it was like, for scholars, in ancient Alexandria when the great library was built there.

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