Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ideas that were once commonly held that now seem strange

Forty-five years ago, when I was in grade school, our American History books started with the statement that in the year 1492 Christopher Columbus discovered America. Although there were millions of human beings in the so-called “New World” at that point in time, with centuries of their own history, the authors of our text books considered everything that happened to non-Europeans before they were noticed by Europeans to be of no importance.

School children are no longer taught that American history started with Columbus. Now that it has been pointed out it is clear to almost everyone that the European-centric view of history which was taught until recently was a very strange way of looking at the world and a very strange way of thinking about history.

Which ideas and viewpoints, commonly held and accepted today, do you think will seem very strange 45 years from now?


Anonymous said...

I don't know how likely this is, but here's one that I certainly hope becomes a strange thought:
That a two-party system is normal, natural, inevitable and preferred.

Dave Barrett said...

Good point.

Or how about the idea that political candidates who raise less money then their opponent deserve to lose (as they usually do) because the fact that they raised less money proves that they are less deserving (less serious, less popular, less competent, etc.) and the necessity of politicians having to take positions which will help their fundraising does not undermine our democracy or turn us from a democracy into a plutocracy.