Learning From the Past

 

For one problem of man is believing in his past.

We have had to take on faith the unproven events of unproven years. For all the reality of ruins and scrolls and tablets, we fear that much of what we read has been made up. Artifacts may be no more than created symbols, artificial skeletons thrown together to fit imaginary closets. The reality, even of the immediate past, is irretrievable.

Thus, through half belief, we are often doomed to repeat that very past we should have learned from.

~Ray Bradbury “The Machine-tooled Happy Land” 1965

The whole essay is worth a read. It’s about Disneyland. Can we reify history through hyper-real spectacle? It may be the only way left.

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