New Criticals

Till Human Voices Wake Us


An article in the October 28th issue of The New Yorker warns about the dangers of “presentism,”  the fear that while technology continues to infiltrate many aspects of everyday life, we begin to forget about everything that is not ultra-present. But email, which is automatically archived, keeps the past incredibly accessible. The only criteria for something to be archived is that it occurred. This creates a type of memory that is at odds with the common concept of history, which says that only traditionally important things are recorded and remembered. In high school, you are taught an abbreviated and predetermined history—a set list of wars, presidencies, and laws.  We only remember what we are told is important.