“…obsessively scrutinizing our ancestors for whatever they had failed to feel, know, understand — that we now so feel, know, (think we) understand… for something so dear to us but not even perceptible to them: for an ahh of relief about their otherwise unfathomable otherness, true otherworldness. Quick to overlook and exaggerate, we love to imagine profound/bizarre inabilities — like people of the past not being even conscious, or unable to read silently anyway; when proven wrong (most such notions are) we are jolted: what, are you saying they already could this, saw that, spake thus? Why didnt they do it then — not, I mean, with our zeal and addiction? Perhaps what they really lacked was… and it starts all over.” The same distortion works into the future — which many have painted as having lost, or been deprived of, some fundamental facilities (independence, curiosity, books); any past is denser than its future (“universe expansion”) but now the weight may be shifting futureward: were not an age of eternal present after all, even if the future that lures us is unabashedly distant.

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