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  • WILLIAM A SLOAN

Where Are You Coming From?

How can you know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been?



This phrase has been rolling around in my brain all week, partly because I’ve heard many people talk about the trips they’re starting to plan, now that COVID is in its next phase (not over, mind you, just “next phase”...whatever that means) and also because I’m putting together a presentation on logos, seriously...those instantaneous identifiers of everything...the wheres, whys and hows of them, with a mini history lesson embedded into the presentation. And lastly, this seems to be a season of Studio 54-themed parties and another occurred the other night. Interesting. (The original real deal was NOT cute, by the way...just sayin)

I’ve realized, now that I’m over 34...pause...wait for it...move on, I’m fascinated with the history of everything and SO GLAD I had great teachers in that regard. Teachers and parents – people who respected what had gone before and were fascinated by the ongoing connections and transmogrifications (good word, that) and developments based on technological advancements and the times being what they are..or were.


Y wouldn’t have happened...couldn’t have happened...if X hadn’t come before to set the stage. And after Y comes Z and then, who knows?

I feel like we’re living in an age of derivation, an age where everything is derived from something gone before, but unlike in the past when this has also been the case, nobody wants to take the time to study the roots and find out the original why? Instead we Google, do a screen grab of the coolest reference image, mimic it in the fastest way possible and don’t take the time to even pursue the Master’s degree-lite offered by Wikipedia on an ongoing basis, to learn a little something.

The ancient Egyptians changed the world and how we see things, and so did Gutenberg and so did Coca-Cola and so did Studio 54. And the more you know about the when and where and why, well, the more you know, and the more it all starts to make a little more sense. And the better off you’ll be. Better company, too.

Learn from the past, if you want to predict the future.

– Confucius

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