I’ve been reading “Guns, Germs, and Steel” recently, which by the way is very interesting. Through the overview of all of pre-history and history, I saw a third segment of time emerging, more so in our culture, although it did somewhat come out in the book.
Post History. This mindset says that, yes, it is wonderful to learn history, and it should be taught in schools. But we don’t need to learn from history. Maybe we’re beyond the reach of historic trends. We’ve conquered so many sicknesses, made so many improvements, etc.? Great empires have always failed, but the United States won’t. Churches have broken about before for this reason, but we won’t. Racism is a thing we conquered in the 60’s. Sexism ended when we let women vote. Somehow we’re above the past.
And then there are people writing tomorrow’s history today. For example, this article in the OC Register talks about an “historic debate” that was started a year ago. The Wall Street Journal called an upcoming talk between Bill Gates and Steve Jobs historic (The press release is titled “Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to Make Historic Joint Appearance”. Can’t we let history decide what is actually historic?