Forget History, it is the Present and Readiness for the Future that Count

Drumming up the past serves no meaningful purpose. Just like technologies that have gone obsolete.

A few of my earlier posts touched on how journalism is both losing sting and relevance, particularly in Asia.

Do Newspapers Need In-house Journalists?

New Disruptive Political Order has Emerged

The media are no longer in a position to influence trends. From Brexit to Donald Trump’s spectacular ascension, nothing worked according to the designs of the media or to that of fake liberals.


The losers may find it easy to place the entire blame on the West, raking up history and doing all they can to pitch what may be politically correct but realistically just bunkum.

The reality is they have failed and will continue to fail amid an environment where those who matter are not prepared to sniff hot air any longer. The sooner they realise this the better.

The Lucent Example

Businesses have become history only because they lacked the ability to measure up to market transitions. Lucent Technologies is a classic example. It had several Nobel Laureates working for it and despite all of its focus on R&D it failed to plan ahead for the unfolding technology evolutions (the IP revolution, for instance) and, not surprisingly, lost out to the likes of Cisco Systems.

Surviving in some form, through mergers and acquisitions, is not the same as being an independent market leader.


A Lack of Vision

Transformative strategies are key for survival. Market leadership is fine as long as the solutions being pitched are evolving with the times, with a strong roadmap.

If a company is steadily losing market share it only suggests it is steeped in history, staying stuck in a legacy environment and being late to address new-generation platform requirements. In essence, it points to a lack of vision.

Late Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai had this habit of living in the past. For instance, when asked about his plans to address the country’s poverty his supercilious response was “we were the richest once.”

I don’t think the world has the generosity to accept excuses and an unwillingness to learn from failures.


Don’t Glorify, Perpetuate Failures

It is the present and the future that are pertinent, the past will just have to be cast aside. Relying on history to drive the future is tantamount to perpetuating and glorifying failures. Past glory is meaningless if the present does not offer even a faint semblance to it.

Journalists subscribing to their own historical madness are fossilised specimen who ignore today’s realities that cannot be turned back.History is akin to yesterday’s technologies that have already gone obsolete. Trying to restore them on the pretext that they worked well then will only be seen as laughable folly.


New Leaders, Old Information

In today’s digital world we have new leaders – not the ones who invented the typewriter and failed to transition to the world of computers. Even new technologies have a short lifespan. The pager was hot for a few years but disappeared when mobile phones became pervasive. It is only a matter of time before even the print media go completely digital.

Historical perspectives may lend credibility to a thought piece, but allowing that to form the basis for arguments, for faulting or justifying the present, when discussing current affairs is too simplistic a position.

The new generation hardly has the patience to process old, irrelevant information. What is bygone must remain so. What works today and what will work tomorrow are what that ought to count – until change signals the next big step. That may be sooner than we imagine.

What is only of academic interest cannot be the basis for defining the present and the future. Let history be history!

G Joslin Vethakumar

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