09 December 2006


In Plato's Phaedrus Socrates is said to have spoken on the invention of the written word. The egyptian king, Thamus had this to say of the radical invention:

"(T)he specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality."

"The show of wisdom without reality." I thought it worth repeating.

What started as pre-alphabetic glyphs evolved, through various changes, into the place we are now: the internet.

When I was a young man I was an avid fan of the beatnick troubadour "DONOVAN" (Donovan Leitch), one of his folksongs had this lyric, in part:

"People used to
get together 'round a problem,
eye's were looked at,
tongues were true..."

It was a reminiscence that I think we should take to heart. Proving our point should be less important than the interaction of steady eyes and honest words.

from Woodstock

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