William Gibson Distrusts the Past

Which is odd, as his novels have always made me fear the future. (h/t: Instapundit)

It’s an ancient, somewhat universal human attitude, and often they give it full voice. But it’s been being given voice for thousands and thousands of years. You can go back and see the ancient Greeks doing it. You know, “All that is good is gone. These young people are incapable of making art, or blue jeans, or whatever.” It’s just an ancient thing, and it’s so ancient that I’m inclined to think it’s never actually true. And I’ve always been deeply, deeply distrustful of anybody’s “golden age” — that one in which we no longer live.

That’s reasonable and right as far as it goes. But societal decline is actually a real thing. It’s happened to every society that’s ever existed. Sure, the ancient Greeks also complained about the young. And what happened to ancient Greece again?


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