“Overcoming the concept of ‘progress’ and overcoming the concept of ‘period of decline’ are two sides of one and the same thing.” Walter Benjamin

My name is Alberto Sánchez-Allred. I am a sociocultural anthropologist interested in “making strange” the notion progress. To believe that economic, technological, and informational growth are components of a historical process by which the future will be improved, or to believe the contrary, that they accompany degradation and decline, are really “two sides of one and the same thing.” Narrating history in terms of either improvement or decline closes off the present. The intellectual task, I am convinced, is to open it up.

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