Lost in Translation

“What is lost in the good or excellent translation is precisely the best.”

Friedrich Schlegel

There’s an incredible amount of knowledge and information out there nowadays. (And it’s only increasing.)

Everything we know, everything we could learn has been built up over time. But not everything is easily understandable. Even if we were stuck in a time-loop and had all the time in the Universe, some things take repetition, multiple perspectives, and deep thought to really grok something.

Think about classic books for example. The language in books are of their own time.

Pick up a book from Shakespeare and it’s immediately apparent it’s from another era.

Same thing with The Odyssey, or Great Gatsby, or Pride and Prejudice or Walden, etc. Each book captures a different way of speaking and thinking about the world. This reflects the author, for sure, but also the culture and times they lived in.

The same is true for most mediums. Art, Movies, Music, Technology… Ideas are a reflection of their time. Some ideas are universal and translate well throughout history. Some ideas are evergreen, easily taught, and understood. But most ideas are lost in translation as time expands.

That’s where we come in. We can, if we choose, carry the torch by uncovering lost ideas (or overlooked or obscure) and bring them to a new generation.

Some ideas get old. Old ideas get lost to new generations.

Ideas are recycled. They are never the same the second and proceeding times around. As time passes perspectives change.

Each new generation—each individual—can rediscover and become inspired by ideas that we translate. By simply understanding them ourselves, we can make them unique by putting them in our own words and combining them with other ideas we have.

Who knows how many fabulous ideas exist out there in the world that exist in stuffy old books or forgot insights waiting to be remembered.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #992

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