Robert Tamayo


Nihil Sub Sole Novum

"What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun."
-Eccleisastes 1:9

As a software engineer interested in technology and building new things, I've often pondered this verse. Some people argue that it refers not to technology, but to human nature; human nature never changes, but all of the evils, desires, hopes, dreams, and plots remain throughout time. Others reduce all new technology to basic elements, claiming that everything "new" is just an enhancement of an existing technology.

It's one of the most famous verses from one of my favorite books in the Bible. I think it could have to do with Solomon himself. This book was written by one of the richest, most powerful kings in history, and he would have certainly felt like there was nothing left for him to try to entertain himself. In the book, he explains that he tried practically everything available to him to find happiness and meaning in life, but in the end, it was "all vanity". Maybe this verse doesn't refer to new inventions or human nature, but instead refers to the meaninglessness of material goods. Even if you acquire everything you desire, it will never be enough. Eventually, even the new "novelties" will seem old and repetitive, and you will have to find meaning in something -- or some One -- more important.
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