This poem, Ozymandias, by Percy Bysshe Shelley has always resonated with me:
There is a danger in writing too much of ones own achievements as the future may look upon them in a much different light.
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away".
This poem written by Horace Smith in 1818, also talking of Ozymandias, points out a similar if larger view:
Where will all our technical marvels go when their workings are forgotten?
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows:
I am great Ozymandias, saith the stone,
The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
The wonders of my hand. — The City's gone,
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.
We wonder, and some hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when through the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the wolf in chase,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race,
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.
There is something to be said for human scale technologies, where the workings are vissible and understandable by inspection.
Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.