More on progress
22 January 2011 Leave a comment
Ah, progress. Ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Via This American Life (Episode “Pandora’s Box,” April 26, 2007):
This is what we do, humans. We tinker and change and endlessly imagine a more perfect future. And, at the same time, we idealize the past. So, we’re trapped. Progress’ constant companion is nostalgia for the way things used to be.
The thing we forget about progress: there is no master plan. It lurches forward, in the dark, accidentally, and you’re never sure where it’s taking you. There’s no going back, whether it wants to or not.
With a very appropriate response from Quinton Ma:
Eloquently put, however I’ve never been one to idealize the past. I only see the future as possibly perfect.
I agree with both sentiments. Progress lurches forward without considering where it’s going. At the same time, idealizing the past is useless, and optimism about the future is necessary.