Rough Draft 1: My friend at design matters blogged about how "generations" have different experiences depending on the technology they grew up with, and it got me thinking how those coming of age today experience the world differently than I or my parents did.
We, humanity, exist in a world where it is true that "there is nothing new under the sun" and "you never step into the same river twice". Maybe it all boils down to "the more things change, the more they stay the same". But from a design standpoint (and anthropological standpoint I guess) it is interesting consider what things are REALLY different whether it is objects or ideas and even world views.
Are we all really the same, or are there truly fundamental differences, now and in past times. One advantage of thinking we have always basically been the same it that it means we don't have to think. Are the actions of others bad because we know they are bad, or are they just different and with out a moral value? Thinking can be ( but is not necessarily) a difficult thing.
Long ago I read a few books by the cultural anthropologist Edward T Hall, if I remember it correctly (no guarantees), one of his points is that we like to think people are basically the same, but his study of different cultures found that we are all really different and saying it isn't so just papers over any problems we might come across. Can the same thing be said for our society that has grown out of our own technology?
I guess my take at this point is we may think in fundamentally different ways now than in other times and certain world ideas really do change the course of history. This is mirrored in my earlier post about the sacred circle and Cahill's book about the ancient Hebrews. But then again if you were a jerk in Ancient Rome you would probably be a jerk today. Hmmmm... can I expand on that?