Stuck in the Past

A large percentage of the posts published on this site over the last six months have involved sharing memories of things that happened in my life many years or decades ago. My parents have often said that as we age we look back at the past with increasing frequency simply because there's more of it to revisit. This theory certainly seems to hold water, but I wonder if there's something more to it. Is the mind comparing the past with the present? Do the memories have a common thread that should be explored? Am I just imagining correlations where none exist?

That last one sounds to be the most probable.

At some point in the future I do wonder if it would make sense to try and sort the memory posts chronologically and try to put some sort of temporal marker in the timeline of this site so that someone scrolling through a visual representation of the archives page would see a reference to this post at some point around 2003 despite being written in 2011 and this other post around 19891. One of the long-term goals I have for the 10C blogs is to present some alternative ways of viewing a lifetime. People who write prolifically will document so much of their lives, intentionally or otherwise, and giving people the ability to navigate the long progression of then to now is an excellent way to provide context to other articles on the same site. It would be more interesting if multiple posts over a span of years was found to discuss the same memory or time period as it would allow for a more complete understanding of how the author has perceived that moment in history.

This sort of visual representation is quite far off, though. Past attempts to design this view have failed spectacularly, which means I'm not thinking about the problem correctly. The articles that people write are not simply data points, after all. They're fragments of memory and personality. Any solution that is going to represent a person's lifespan will need to do so from a humanistic approach rather than a mathematical one.

One thing is for certain, though: the best solution will not involve an infinite-scrolling page consisting of only letters and numbers. This simply will not work.

  1. I wrote "Paper Boats" in June of 2019? It doesn't seem like almost a year has gone by. I still remember typing that post.