The Quondam Hierarchy
When trying to establish your value, you’ll need to fully eclipse those who came before you.
It’s not enough to be ‘as good’ — you need to be better.
Sometimes at 1 Minute Wonders, I like to just share something that has me pondering that particular day.
Today, it’s this quote:
“To equal your predecessor, you will need to be worth twice as much.” — Baltasar Gracián
It’s this phenomenon of looking back with rose-coloured glasses that creates a structure of quondam hierarchy.
This means the thing that happened before is always considered the best. Or the person that preceded someone is always the GOAT (greatest of all time).
Speak to someone about the best movie of all time. Was it made this year?
What about the best album of all time? Will they name one in the charts?
The sexiest car ever made. Is it a 2023 model?
What about the greatest fighter in UFC history? Is it a current champ?
Almost always, present-day achievements, in any area are compared unfavourably against those that existed before them.
And it’s not just people, or art… The same happens with businesses.
New Coke vs. old.
Established logo vs. new.
Original recipe vs. modern recipe… etc.
I’m not saying it’s a good or bad thing. It’s just something that made me think today — and I wanted to share it.