Most people who celebrate the winter holidays here in the US will probably agree that sending and receiving greeting cards has decreased during the past decade or so. While I was growing up, my parents would hang the Christmas cards people sent us along the base of the railing around our stairwell. Nowadays, they receive only a handful of cards, barely enough to frame a quarter of the stairs. We also send out far fewer. I used to send cards out to the friends I met at summer camp, but with the creation of social media platforms, such as Facebook, many of us no longer exchange mailing addresses and convert our correspondence to digital formats.
For the past week and a half, I have been listening to a lecture course on the history surrounding the theory of evolution, and it has left me contemplating how ideas, particularly ways of understanding, spread and change with the amount of information we have. Today, the concept of natural selection acting to produce changes in species over the course of generations strikes most people as logical and obvious, but Darwin spent many years working out that very logic after his famous visit to the Galapagos Islands. We, of course, have knowledge of genetics which had not yet been discovered at that time although experiments on inheritance of various traits were being conducted during Darwin's lifetime.
With scattered rainstorms threatening my area during most of the weekend, my parents and I decided to take a day trip to visit some local shops and have a late lunch at one of our favorite restaurants. One of the shops we stopped by is located in an old mill. The third floor of the building includes a history display that features clothing and black and white photographs as well as the old mill workings. While perusing these artifacts, I found myself wishing that my current writing project was not set in modern times.