Progress

Progress, the word to express advancement out of the past towards something better, has not done the job it was supposed to. Not at all, for as Progress continues it looks as if we are losing ground rather than gaining it, especially in the area of information awareness.
True there are enormous piles of stuff of import lying around in books and files and papers of all sorts everywhere, indeed since the beginning of writing things down, the records have grown to become quite unmanageable.
If you decide you need to know something from the past you go and look it up and read it and take notes about it at much the same speed as the original writer put it to paper. Of course nowadays you can make a xerox copy of the important bits and leave the rest alone, which helps a little in getting to the meat of the matter at hand. However, that too has to be read, and it’s more than likely the information contained therein is not sufficient to make sense, so you have to go back for more, or if you are pressed for time, broke or lazy, or all of the above, you make do and that will be bad for the facts.
This process carried on a trillion times a day dilutes the true worth of original thought, till it can never be rediscovered with the proper emphasis, and only pale shadows of it remain to confuse rather than inform.
Curiouser and curiouser: we now no longer read as much as we listen, information has become noise which is spewed at us until we have to switch it off, meaning we absorb nothing of worth at all.
The oral tradition was by far the best way to be taught what was worthwhile, but it too had its great difficulties. There were forked tongues and poor memories, death and disaster, the problems of transcending differences in foreign tongues and mental and actual deafness.
It’s a wonder we know anything at all; maybe we don’t, maybe those bright gems of truth that might have saved us have died away with the sages, been burned in the fires, become drivel because their key points were lost to indifference and stupidity, or perhaps they are still there, drowned out by the torrential cacophony that sweeps the world today.

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