Out Of Time

Many of the aspects of the contemporary world are highly time-dependent. If you get a news story from social media, it is already old news when it appears in your inbox as part of a news e-mail the next day. If you are focused on listening to new music releases, then the majority of albums make most of their money on sales in the first two weeks after release. Similar patterns can be found when it comes to movies. A great deal of culture is very narrow in terms of its appeal. A difference of a few months can be the difference between someone being a trendsetter and a trendfollower.

One of the ways to determine if something is worthwhile is to ponder upon whether it lasts. A great deal in the contemporary world is deliberately not made to last because it can seem to be more profitable to sell things over and over again to people because they are designed to become rapidly obsolete. Technology is technically designed in this fashion, so that generation numbers of cell phones proliferate and it is regularly joked that the moment one buys a technology it is already completely out of date.

There is a great deal that is considerably timeless. It requires time to settle that which is passing and that which lasts. Not everything that lasts does so for a good reason. Some things are remembered simply so that we may laugh at the past or some element of it, or that we may think ourselves superior to the past, not realizing that in our own time we have similar things that will not look very good in the future. It is hard for us for us to realize that the future will treat us the same way that we treat the past, and that one of the strongest arguments for us to be kind to those who came before us is that one day we will be in their place and we will have to depend on the kindness of those who cannot see us as we saw ourselves.

It is not too difficult to understand how we are interested in things that are out of time. Oftentimes, that which is a couple of decades or so is re-examined and some things that were looked down on at the time are thought of much better with the hindsight of history. There will be at least a few things that are looked down upon right now as being lame and unworthy of praise that will be seen in later years, perhaps not even too far in the future, as being worth of a great deal of praise and respect, and some of the people that would have received that respect will not be around to get it. And that is a great waste. There is much sadness in the way that things are not always valued until it is too late for the people who make them to be truly appreciated.

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Musings and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Out Of Time

  1. Catharine Martin says:

    There are so many examples of this. Fashion recycles every 20-30 years or so. It appears dated for awhile, and then is drawn on to fabricate a “new” look. Our disposable-minded society is now trying to dispose of our permanent historical roots and replace it with a fashionable counterfeit, but how long will that last?

    • I can’t imagine it will last that long at all. If you have no tolerance for history except as a source to plunder for fads that one quickly gets tired of, it becomes difficult for anything to last.

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