The important things in the world may well not be the useful things; the distinction may be hell to make; but I feel an urge to do so. The important things may be history; it’s difficult to say, but they may be. History packs the world and unpacks it. History—the stories we tell ourselves—makes whatever sense of the world we can make. Distinctions are history’s job, its raison d’être.

The important things may be the useful things. There may be no distinguishing between them. If you can use it maybe it must be useful; if it’s useful, maybe it must be important.

History’s no help but its stories are all we have except imagining and even then we only imagine other history, tell other stories.

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