We do not think of the present as immediate experience, but a movement in the now that's made historical, connected to elsewheres. Likewise any history is organized not by questions in the past, but by openings or enigmas in the present that incite a return to a scene, event, or genealogy (we refer to Michel Foucault's project, here). All histories are histories of the present, wherever their archives or explanatory focus are located.
The present is therefore not just a gift that we encounter, open, and own, but something that people who inhabit a chronologically current space might not share: reader, you and we might be living in different historical presents. That's always a matter of debate. How would we describe the now? The present is a horizon where anachronisms gather (different histories coming to the same point)into a cluster of discontinuities; it's an effect of causes that are not just obvious, but which are always being invented by people who derive a sense of _context _from what is or appears to be.
In other words, we do not take for granted the history of the present, we make up versions of the present from histories and projections into the future, or from a cluster of unfinished processes we bring into expression without closing them down. It's as though the present is a ghost-effect of causes only always partly known, partly not yet invented.
One is always finding out what just happened. That's another definition of the present, a looping back, a meandering, a wandering around the traces of of an event, until the traces become spaces, tendencies.
The present is different than what's daily, like in the newspapers; or what's periodized, like in phrases about modernity, the twentieth century, the generation x prime_ currently emerging. The daily is more or less technical. But the present is a sense of things, a structure of feeling, a residue of what's held in common about this _moment _that's always being worked out expressively.