regarding Benjamin's idea of the Angel of History I wanted to share a new favorite quote:
...[The Greeks] saw the future as something that came upon them from behind their backs with the past receding away before their eyes. When you think about it, that's a more accurate metaphor than our present one. Who really can face the future? All you can do is project from the past, even when the past shows that such projections are often wrong. And who really can forget the past? What else is there to know? --Zen & the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.