Curiosity. What’s that they say about it? It killed the cat? Not a very auspicious axiom for those of us who are afflicted by it. The thirst for knowledge can be an anodyne to modern life, the bustle and invasion of distractions in the form of social media and entertainment. But all that chaotic, frantic chatter is simply the next chapter of the Great Conversation that humanity has been having with itself since Lascaux.
Charles Van Doren’s book, A History of Knowledge: Past, Present, and Future – the Pivotal Events, People, and Achievements of World History is a good overview of how we got where we are today. They say that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, and being aware of roots can help us in all sorts of ways. Understanding the impact of the printing press on society and how it forced open the gates of knowledge, for example, can help us see the possible implications of the internet on the world today.