John occasionally wondered whether we change, whether there is much change at all, and would sometimes discuss it with acquaintances. He leaned towards the thought that most of us are stamped with a personality and character at birth and it usually remains impervious through the years. We acquire language and knowledge, assimilate -- or rebel against -- the surrounding culture, do different activities, have different pursuits, grow older. But the essential stamp, perhaps reshaped a bit, stays the same.
Coincidentally, John had enjoyed a TCS presentation the day before: The More Things Change, the thesis of which was that technical writers were still trying to resolve the same old problems and issues that have been plaguing users of technical information for years. The presenter showed two slides. The first slide was from a department meeting on her first day on the job 10 years before; the second slide was from just several months ago. Though the wording was slightly different, and the slide media had become more sophisticated, each slide enumerated and described the same basic problems in technical information.