Some cultures represent the time line vertically: up for the future, down for the past. Other cultures have rather different views. For example, does the future lie ahead or behind? To most of us, the question makes no sense: of course, the future lies ahead—the past is behind us. We speak this way, discussing the “arrival” of the future; we are pleased that many unfortunate events of the past have been “left behind.”
But why couldn’t the past be in front of us and the future behind? Does that sound strange? Why? We can see what is in front of us, but not what is behind, just as we can remember what happened in the past, but we canR...
- 3 Knowledge in the Head and in the World
- from The Design of Everyday Things: Revised and Expanded Edition
- Publisher: Basic Books
- Released: November 2013
Representation of time as backwards: future behind, as it is unknown to us, whereas the past is in front of us, seeing recent events with more detail than the ones farther away.
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