Having just re-read Spider Robinson’s Melancholy Elephants and posting a link to it on Facebook, I had a realization as I searched for a title to tag the link with to entice people to read it. I chose “Society must be able to forget.”
Immediately my brain lurched forward with that thought, is that true? Sure it’s true for art, or intellectual property, but that makes it a maxim. Is it true? Universally applicable? What if when we say “those who don’t understand history are doomed to repeat it” we are making the argument for the true nature of mankind’s existence? What if we need to repeat our mistakes, what if we need to repeat history. An existence of perfect memory could be an existence of perfect actions and perfect sterility.
Or maybe I need to be wary of caffeine-fueled inspiration at 0900.