"Men are haunted by the vastness of eternity. And so we ask ourselves: will our actions echo across the centuries? Will strangers hear our names long after we are gone, and wonder who we were, how bravely we fought, how fiercely we loved?"
Its a line that has left an impression on my mind ever since I saw 'Troy'. What does this mean? What is the vastness of eternity?
The lines were written in a perspective where no one ever thought that the events will ever be recorded so menacingly (I used this word just to emphasise the fact how the information age is now evolving). At that time, only the 'very' relevant events and names were recorded and that too by a 'very' few people.
The complete motivation of people would have been to do something which can be relevant to those certain few.
The explosion of media has now ensured that the names and events are registered as and when they happen. There are thousands of writers all accross the globe who earn their breads, doing just that. Also, the kind of things we are exposed to now, we always have to keep our internal firewall activated. I, for one, do not want to know how much taller is Padmalakshmi from Rushdie or who is the expert on hair loss control (I dont have any, as I write this). The money involved in the business makes it worse, the skew seeps in and the credibility rushes out (note the comparison between seeps and rushes).
Unlike, in earlier times, when the journals were maintained as a habit and as an act of philanthropy.
Now, I know, that whatever information I require, I can get it just sitting on my chair. I would not have to ask people, research about it or dig the graves. The explosion in media has made immortals out of every one. I dare say, we all are immortals. Google helped us in doing so. Who started Google? (most of us would need to Google it, and there we find Larry Page and Sergey Brin immortalized on Wikipedia).
The point being, the information recording and information mining, both are now far more easier than they were earlier.
The sale of 'The discovery of India' and 'My experiments with truth' have declined over the years, we are relaxed that any moment we want an update on the people or the books, we will find it. Somewhere on the media. Then why to take the pains of doing the acts which makes us immortal. The vastness of eternity? Humbug!! the servers will outlast any thing, even cockroaches, if not, the back-up will.
It is just the media explosion that has changed. Achillies now features in Oxford dictionary and the bravehearts of Kargil will be Googled.