Nostalgia. It can be a debilitating disease if you let it take over your life and turn into a conservative. I don’t believe in the Good Old Days, although there were quite possibly some things done in the past better than today (like some better leaders than the current crop) and plenty of things done a lot worse. Our minds are very good at editing memories, discarding many of our bad experiences and highlighting good ones. As long as you know that you can change the future, but you can’t relive the past there is no harm in recalling old times.
What if I had a time machine. Where would I go? It might be quite scary going to the distant past – you might end up bringing smallpox back or some other disease that many had immunity to then, but has been lost somewhere from your genome. I am actually curious about the period from decade preceeding that of my birth (ie, from the 60’s) up until the mid nineties. It would give some sort of context to my childhood, taken from a modern perspective. For instance, a bit over a year ago I visited my childhood house in Melbourne. It seemed so much smaller than I remembered it. It didn’t spoil my memory of that house, but added another aspect to it.
It might also be fun to be able to ride inside your own head in the past, to be able to switch between the perspective of your past ignorance and that of your current understanding. Ignorance is to be decried, but it does have one wonderful feature: the joy of losing that ignorance to knowledge and understanding. The journey out of ignorance can be very exciting.