Author Topic: Following Trends  (Read 405 times)

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Offline Hondo69

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Following Trends
« on: July 27, 2017, 04:35:53 AM »
Historians pay close attention to trends.  Sure they love to amplify particular events, but they also typically weave that event into the bigger picture (trend).

Sometimes historians will paint of picture of the past in order to give context to events of today.  There was no EPA or OSHA around in the 1800's to drop the hammer on settlers moving west in covered wagons for example.  Surely these agencies wouldn't be too happy about those settlers tossing tin cans along the trail or pushing a damaged piano off the back of a wagon.  And the total meltdown of activists groups over teaching a 6 year old how to shoot we'd be familiar with today would be a purely unthinkable notion among that same group of settlers.

It was just different back then.  Different time, different place and undoubtedly different sets of values.  But was it better?

That seems like an appropriate question to ask given this particular point in our history.  I'm sure some people would answer yes while others would answer no, so it depends upon whom you ask.   And then there would be the natural tendency to cite individual examples: cars are better, medicine is better, etc.  But what about big picture ideas such as freedom of speech?

All sorts of cans of worms get opened up when you ask a question like, "was it better in the past?"  Which is why paying attention to trends can often illuminate questions or ideas better than citing individual examples.  A few trends come to mind that may provide food for thought.

[1] Car Buying Choices - are we seeing more and more choices available for us to buy or less and less?

[2] Drug Companies - is the number of drug companies producing medicine increasing in number or decreasing?

[3] Information - is the amount of information available at our fingertips increasing or decreasing?

There are an almost limitless number of trends one could examine, these are just a few examples.  My hunch is that by examining a wide variety of trends and then looking at the group as a whole, we might better answer the question "was it better in the past?"


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