Reflections at the Intersection of American History, Religion, Politics, and Academic Life
Friday, January 23, 2015
Breaking News: The Past Is Expanding at a Rapid Rate
Another argument for the humanities. From our friends at The Onion. A taste:
WASHINGTON—Painting a stark portrait of a phenomenon that appears to be irreversible, a report published Thursday by the American Historical Association has found that the past is currently expanding at an alarming rate.
The comprehensive 950-page study, compiled by a panel of the nation’s most prominent historians, warns that the sum total of past time grows progressively larger each day, making it unlikely anything can be done to halt, or even slow down, the relentless trend.
“We believe the past is larger now than it’s ever been before,” said College of William and Mary professor Timothy Gibbon, lead author of the report, observing that whole generations of people have already become a part of history, and that if nothing changes, an untold number more can expect the same fate. “Many things that are in the past today were, during our parents’ and grandparents’ time, still in the present—or even the future. Based on precise measurements of its size, we believe the past has subsumed every single person and event that has ever existed.” “It’s shocking to contemplate, but in the relatively short stretch since 1984, when I first began tracking its growth, the past has expanded by more than 30 years,” he added.