Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Today's Idle Thoughts Post: Remembrance of Things Past
I have over 10,000 posts on this blog. It's hard to remember but a fraction of them. Today I read through a couple of months' worth of posts from early 2013 and could only remember having written one of them, and recently I thought a 2009 study about the gender gap in earnings had slipped by me, unnoticed, but a check in the archives tells me that I both read through the whole long file and wrote about it, too.
This "Unremembrance of Things Past" might be natural, given how much I have written. But in some ways it is frightening. I can no longer just state, off the bat, if I have covered something or not. I have to check.
On the other hand, many of my old posts are pretty interesting when you don't remember writing them and quite a few of them are not terribly written (and a handful are excellent). I get this odd feeling that I'm meeting my old self when reading those posts (and even the me of yesterday is not the same as the me of today, so there are lots of old selves).
All that is a very concrete example of the way we all change every day, however little, and of the fact that the passing of time makes our prior selves into different people from our current selves. Perhaps even almost-strangers. Maybe a better way of stating that is that the self we construct anew changes as the oldest fragments of memory tailing after us become mistier and mistier while new shiny or broken or nondescript bits are added.