January 1st is about to come once again. While we look forward to a new year and a new federal administration, is anything ever really new? Or is the best we can do to use the ideas we have in different ways, or to partner different sets of ideas in other patterns.
I was amused by a 3 minute Ad Age YouTube showing Brian Williams as the MC of the Ad Council Public Service Awards. In it Williams quoted someone in the NBC news team who pitched something billed as “NetFlix for Books” — you just put in your order for a book, and a book that was previously read by someone else will arrive for you. Williams quipped “you know, we have libraries.” He goes on to eschew other technological so-called innovations that are really retreads of something previously introduced as new.
Walking into my neighborhood WalMart, I noticed a box of books on the floor of the entryway. A school group has implemented a book loan program. According to the sign, you take the books you want, return them wherever you find one of the program boxes, or donate if you wish. Hmm, to (again) quote Brian Williams, “you know, we have libraries.”
Some things can have existed forever, but until someone discovers them for themselves, they don’t become reality.
All this reminds me of the Ecclesiastes, a book of truths attributed to Solomon: (9) That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun. (10) Is there anything of which it may be said, “ See, this is new”? It has already been in ancient times before us. (11) There is no remembrance of former things, Nor will there be any remembrance of things that are to come By those who will come after.