Tag - history

The View Through the Windshield

At a retreat this past weekend, I made a brief and furtive, extemporaneous speech about the tendency most humans have to view the future in terms of the past — to view the tide of history through a rear view mirror, or, as McLuhan wrote, to “march rump-bumping into the future.”

I don’t think my little exhortation to try to see the onrushing landscape through the windshield was all that effectively delivered. Maybe I needed a visual aid…

This video has had nearly 12-million views on YouTube, so maybe you’ve seen it before, but I think it rather forcefully makes the point:

As I tried to say, the past is interesting and at times entertaining but not necessarily prologue. As this video clearly demonstrates, what we now learn from the past is that it teaches us very little about the future.