Special Relativity, History, and Detroit

I’m marking this in the to read fully later category: Einstein’s theory of special relativity, which concludes that space and time are relative (i.e., they depend on the motion of the observer who measures them) and light is more fundamental than either.  To take this a step further, studies have shown that people don’t evaluate the past and future in the same way.  Everything that is behind a person (time/object) is perceived as further away than what’s in front of that person even if the distance is measured to be exactly the same.

The link between space and time is fascinating especially when I think about many of the conversations that I’ve had about the city of Detroit so far this summer.  What does the past tell us about the present?  What if this past is so far away that many of the people who once inhabited the space no longer do; claiming the space and its history for a new generation.  Most people want to talk about the past: the history of a specific building, the back entrance of the stadium their grandpa always used, the events that took place there, and especially the Riots of ’67 (also called 12th Street Riots).  There’s no doubt that the 12th Street Riots marked the tipping point in race relations in Detroit and shaped many of views of the city during its steady decline.  In August, a film based on the story of the riots by Kathryn Bigelow called “Detroit” will make its premiere.  I wonder what the goal of the film is and can’t wait to find out.  Like many, I’m curious about the public image that this will bring about a city that is still in the midst of recovering.