Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Coming Up Empty

Allow me to ask a simple question. I know that many readers say they go back to old materials and, quote, "always find something new there." Are there people out there who find themselves going back to old materials, and are realizing there's nothing left there?

UPDATE: I'm getting no answers, so I suppose I must be the only one.

7 comments:

Hedgehobbit said...

Deities and Demigods has been completely replaced by Wikipedia.

Jhandar said...

Absolutely not. There is always something that can be gleaned from old material.

I hesitate to write more because this line of questioning is particularly broad and vague, although if you would like more pointed feedback, I would be happy to provide it.

Dave said...

If I go back to old material and "always find something new there," is it because the old material was great, or because I am no longer who I was when I last reviewed it?

Vlad Malkav said...

I often seem to find something "new" in old materials, but it probably and mainly is because I do not have a good memory, and I didn't read those materials thoroughly.

I think that Dave is right : when one has changed, one can find "new" things in old materials. They aren't necessary new per se, those were there all the time. It is us who have new things in our minds, and those old materials just kindle new fires in our minds.

But if you have it all in your mind already, you do not have to re-read old materials. The fires are already kindled as soon as you learn, and what remains in the books of old is just dry, useless stuff.

It all depends on how good our mind and memory are processing and storing the data, I guess.

Hmm, I also note that sometimes, the changes I've gone through make old materials just ... not palatable. Lacking in depth, railroady, stale, ideas reused to a pain ...

So maybe we outgrow some materials, and others only retain "new things" because we're unable to get the whole in our mind ?

Matt said...

I think that more than finding anything actually new in old material, old material sometimes sparks ideas for things that I can do better, but that's usually more the fault of the material not being good enough than it is of the material being good.

Lukas said...

I find myself finding new things all the time.

Especially in movies when I realize I didn't really 'get' the movie at 12.

Zrog said...

Alexis,

Since I don't have an eidetic memory, I am often flipping through an old sourcebook/article/whathaveyou, and see something I don't remember reading. Is this "new"? Well, since it's not in my current collection of accessible-in-an-instant knowledge, I guess it's "new", but if you mean new to mean: "Great Scott! I've never even contemplated such a novel idea!", then no... I rarely find "new" things in "revisited" material...