Day By Day

Friday, October 21, 2011

When Was The Best Time And Place To Be Alive?

I have always thought that I and my contemporaries were blessed to live in the best of times and places, America in the second half of the Twentieth Century, and nothing has shaken that belief, but still it is interesting to wonder what other times and places would be desirable. Patrick Dillon considers a number of alternatives and in doing so makes us think about what constitutes a good life. Read his essay here.

His choice, late Seventeenth-Century London. You can visit that time and locale in Neil Stephenson's long, long Baroque Cycle. I did so a few years ago, and must admit Dillon has a point. If you have the patience to read through 3,000 pages of whimsical historical fiction, by all means to so. It's quite an experience.

Imagine being a young Puritan lad who goes off to college and finds that his roommate is Isaac Newton.

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