Few things happen that really, really change the world for the better. Johannes Guttenberg's movable type (the printing press) was a momentous leap for humanity in the mid 15th century. Books and access to learning became cheap so education flourished. Western humanity dislodged itself from the dark and dreary age of theocrats and monarchs to catapult itself into the the Age of Enlightenment where for the first time in human history absolute power was challenged and thoughts of natural rights and human liberty were born, along with Western Civilization. 550 years later, the incredible Internet was born, another technology that vastly strengthened the power of learning and access to information. Richard Abel recently wrote a book on Guttenberg, The Gutenberg Revolution, A History of Print Culture. The Daily Bell interviews Abel.
I was born and raised in Montana. My father was a homesteader, lawyer and cattle rancher. In that setting I developed a strong sense of self-reliance coupled with an intense interest in philosophy and history to seek to discover the roots and evolution of human culture. Most of my early learning was carried on in the ranch bunkhouse....The monopoly currency of cultural evolution is ideas. Ideas can only be generated when an alert mind senses a further or more powerful meaning implicit in an already established idea or body of ideas. Once such an infant idea is broadcast out into the public square of reflection and debate it must be attacked, recast, or whatever to find acceptance or be overwhelmed. Only along this tortuous path may a new idea be widely accepted into the prevailing body of knowledge.
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