THE SANTA CLARA
November 14, 2013
We are in the center of the universe.
Undoubtedly, a physics major or professor will read these words and roll his or her eyes at this great heresy. But from a metaphorical standpoint, the idea that we are the bull’s-eye of existence is undeniable.
In our globalized world, California seems to be the ideal to strive for. When I spent time growing up in Spain, I quickly learned to say that I was a Californian, not an American.
Foreign contempt for U.S. policies abroad does not extend — so much as condemn — to the cool swagger of the Golden State.
Almost all innovation worth mentioning in the world today is a short drive away from our beautiful campus.
We are in the valley of technology, where Google, Facebook, Apple and countless other companies have chosen to headquarter their inventive enterprises. The creations of these companies have influenced lives all over the world. Prototypes are being tested all around us without our knowledge. That itself is pretty cool.
California is the new kid on the block. It’s so caught up in its good fortune — having all the newest toys — it doesn’t realize that, in the long run, the toys aren’t what matter.
The older, bruised, scarred, street-wise European countries look at us with a knowing eye. They play with the new toys we make, and admire our ingenuity, but at the same time they laugh behind our backs at our way of looking at life.
We are obsessed with progress, with faster processors and thinner and lighter constructions, constantly pumping out more advanced products. Our rabid obsession with what is new makes us hate what is outdated.
It’s a mere rung in the ladder, a footnote in the pages of technological history meant only to take us to newer heights.
Why are we dying to climb faster and faster to the top when we don’t even know what we will find there?
I’m not saying that I don’t like advancement. We should always seek to improve, to better ourselves. That is the greatest human trait.
But I fear where our hatred for the old will take us. California is too young to realize that we are nothing if we ignore that what we once were.
Ask the old European countries what they would be if they didn’t have their stories. We don’t have 1,000 years of history behind us, but our history defines us just as much as it defines Europeans.
So let’s remember where we come from. Let’s be proud of our histories. In our quest for tomorrow, let us not forget yesterday.
Jena McDougall is a senior anthropology major and slot editor of The Santa Clara.