Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Modern Inventions Hinder the Development of Wisdom

Here's a complaint about a modern innovation which has become ubiquitous in our time:

The 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.

I know what you're thinking. It's computers right?
It's Socrates complaining about his students use of writing.
You can read more about it in Plato's book Phaedrus.

1 comment:

yoda said...

Socrates - "Writing is bad, it will turn your brains to mush.. (sigh) yes? what is it this time Plato?"
Plato - "Sorry, could you repeat that last bit? I was sharpening my quill."

I love the greek ironies.

Socrates' student Plato writes down Socrates' complaint that his students spend too much time writing, without which we would not have known that Socrates' didn't like what Plato was doing.

My name is Socrates and I did not approve the preceding message.