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May 16th, 2009

Events of the late fifteenth century having to do with ships, navigation, seas, and maps are often used to mark the beginning of the "modern" world.  If "modern" is defined as "new,"  the world has always been modern, or it has never been modern (vanity of vanities).  Modern is often defined in terms of certain institutions, technologies, and attitudes.  If these are specific enough, then potentially the world can become "unmodern" again.  Attitudes are often used to mark modernity, and one of those attitudes was a belief in "progress."  Since my belief in progress was much stronger 60 years ago than it is today, I am less modern than I once was.  Maybe the current political and economic crises will have that same effect on so many people that there will be a "retreat from modernity.."  This may have happened to seventh century Mayan society and to tenth century Chinese society.  I find myself marking time more by the changing seasons and less by the passing years.  The coming of Summer is of far more consequence in this house than the coming of 2012.Read more...Collapse )</div>

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bobby1933
bobby1933

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