early days

Daniel A. Foss (U17043@UICVM.BITNET)
Thu, 23 Feb 1995 21:29:49 CST

I read the book way back then; sorry I can't recall the contents, my memory
is not what it used to be, which I can't recall, either. You are most
certainly right that someone who was "a revelation in the early days" of
anything is just the kind of person those who came later would want to
have in *their* history, since it's *those who identify as the later stages
of anything* who *constitute* what was *their* earlier stages. And the
turning points in their development, too. Whether any given Ancestors would
want to have us, whoever us may be, for their Descendants is in my opinion
at best an open question and more likely implausible; they'd prefer to have
had Descendants more recognizably like themselves, who don't exist, and to
have been in the Early Stages of something else, which never arose, because
society developed elsewise than could have been anticipated. [Socially
constructed Turning Points, of course, are to be distinguished from real
ones which go unrecognized, cumulative changes, sheer dumb luck, and the
unknowable ideological needs of people yet unborn for a past making sense
to them.] Of course, you might have had an utterly different origins-and-
development causality, socially and culturally speaking, than that which
you would prefer to have; but you needn't worry about that.

Which do you suppose is more difficult, to have no social or cultural
*antecedents*, or to have no social or cultural *posterity*?(*)

Consider that Early Man, the first eponymous ancestor, was invented last
of all.(+) An object lesson of the perils of linear historical time. Perhaps
you might prefer to make your historical time nonlinear, defined for imaginary

Daniel A. Foss
(*) [Now that I know that the career of the late unlamented Robert Johnson
was to have been as mercifully brief as it was unmeteoric, I wonder, should
I have postponed my demise beyond 1994. Not once did I see anyone here say,
"a sick, pitiful, vulgar caricature of Foss, without the humor," for instance.]
(+) [When Early Man got finished Evolving, he stumbled out of the subway tunnel
into the daylight to find his Wife tapping her shoe on the concrete and staring
at her wristwatch. "What took you so long," she said, impatiently.]