Right now I am listing to a Berkeley lecture about art and cyperculture and how the web and people play together. The podcast is called “Practice of Art 23: Foundations of American Cyberculture” – very clumsy title isn’t it? It is very thought provoking and I as you might have guessed by now – I like that. One of thing things I came to think about is how words change meaning all the time. Not just words but many things. They were mentioning the world Cyperpunk and talked about that it originally meant to reject the cybernetics witch I told my boyfriend and he found it really weird because he very strongly associate with science fiction and cybernetics. I just thought it was interesting how it had flipped on a plate and that of course made me think about other things that have changed meaning in a really substantial way…

Think about the swastika before the Nazis to it into use it was a sun symbol and then you travel in Europe you will see it on many old buildings that has nothing to do with the Nazi-regime. How long will it take before we can use that symbol for anything else? I am pretty sure that the meaning will at some point get lost in the mists of history.

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Another thing that has got a whole new meaning today would be the word black… I bet you think about more then a colour just by me mention the word – some of you will be thinking about race, others the night, others evil – we put so much meaning into a simple word. And that is one reason that is matters what we call things – the words in them self means nothing of course, but as soon as they have meaning associated with them then we think about those meanings when we hear the word.

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Fiets doesn’t really mean anything to me, but it means bicycle in Dutch. That starts a stream of thought in my mind right away – I have tried to illustrate them above.

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Right now I am working on my bachelor and it has made me think about historians’ use of unpublished sources. Historians tend to think that is better to use unpublished sources – or at least that is the impression one often gets. They think that that they are uncovering the truth about the subject – go where no man has gone before – and that is all very fine and noble, but of course they are not really going anywhere where nobody has been before, because if they did, there wouldn’t be any sources to work with – sorry about that, that was a sidetrack.

What it made me think about what how the past effects the time that comes after an event. As I see it, and I might very well be wrong, most event effect the events just after it more then it effect the time feather away from it, unless “new shocking sources are uncovered” as the newspapers like to put it. But then we are uncovering new and shocking material about the past we are changing our own and our reader’s view about the past. By reshaping our own view about the past, we make it harder for our self to view the event we are studying in the same light as people just after the even sew it. That can be good in some cases, but if you are trying to understand the time just after the event, it might make it harder for you to understand the event.

I think my point is that if one tries to understand how an event effected the events just after it happened then it is more fruitful to look at the sources that was available at the time, like newspapers, websites, flyers, television newsflash and things like that, then it is to look at politician’s diaries or top secret papers, as only a handful of people had that information at the time. Again it do depend on what you are trying to examine – if you are trying to figure out why John F. Kennedy acted the way he did, then it makes sense to look at the top secret stuff from the time, but if you are trying to understand why the American public acted the way they did after 9/11 then perhaps it is more interesting to look at the news feeds from the days just after. I personally find it more interesting how the world is presented then to figure out just what really happened, so I tend not to dig into the unpublished sources.