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Naomi Standen wrote: "Daniel Teodoru asks why we historians don't stick to the modern era if we want to argue historical philosophy. I'm not a philosopher, nor a modernist, and I think there are (at least) two answers here." Part of the problem is to define the present. No matter how we define it, the basic assumptions of current action are likely to be revolving around the conceptual iron ingots cast in the rise of the modern. This greater period then is in many ways our present in which our personal present is caught. And it is one where innovations can scramble the starting point, and failure to innovate can simply freeze the 'modern present' in place. This is the real 'postmodern' dilemma. One problem is that we are inside this greater 'present' and aren't in any present at all, a sort of cold storage modernity, adam smith in replica as couch potato. The problem with entering new worlds, such as the new era of the modern, is that, as a Buddhist might say, you fall into a trance in that world. It is interesting as this 'present' came into existence the first generation of all this, in the early nineteenth century, among the 'left hegelians' adopted a version of Hegel's idea of alienation, which amounts to saying that a spell had been cast, and that minds had succumbed to that spell. It's not the end of the world, only the present, and the state of mind of the entry to that present is, and remains the 'real present'. Not a laughing matter. One is beset by the last best thing, say the immense influence of Nietzsche, and one has never heard of the starting point against which the false present is reacting, namely, the reverse colors of someone like Kant. There are many riddles like that one that conditions the boundaries of what we think is motion toward the future, when it is really permutations of the starting point. Still, the point is well taken, the present needs liberation from the past. Why worry, we can reinvoke Zarathustra, and aspire to the end times, thence to find the real present. John Landon http://eonix.8m.com email@example.com