There’s not a lot we can do about the past; but we should never despair of it, because, as Czeslaw Milosz wisely said, the past takes its meaning from whatever we do right now. The past has a way of sticking to us, of sticking around, of just plain sticking. Even if we wrap the past around us like a snow globe, so as to obscure our many discontents with our dangerous present, that willful act will change our future. Because that’s already been tried. It was tried repeatedly. Look deep enough, try not to flinch, and it’s all in the record. So: never mock those who went before you unless you have the courage to confront your own illusions.
Bruce Sterling, The User’s Guide to Steampunk (via i-am-the-epitome)