At some point in my early adolescence I began to feel as if I was living in the past. Not in terms of personal emotional history, but in terms of history itself. That what counts as the present might as well be the past.
It’s not the where is my jetpack feeling. It’s not that Now isn’t the now we thought it would be. It’s looking around and knowing that the way we clean, the way we read, the way we communicate, our whole way of life will be a sad, whimsical footnote in history books that probably won’t be books. It’s the they thought they’d have jetpacks feeling.
Working with technology exacerbates this feeling. It’s hard to suss out the worth in Right Now if your head is wrapped up in what comes next: the next release, the advances you know are around the corner. Engineers working on version 2.0 wave away bug reports on the current version. “It’ll be fixed in the rewrite.” Don’t bother me with that. It’s already in the past, even if it’s a current trouble for someone else.
You can’t live in the past, but it’s never the future.