Present At The Creation:
A World We Witnessed Being Made
Peggy Noonan, columnist for the Wall St. Journal had an interesting article (10/1-2/16) she entitled The Politics Of The Shallows concerning the internet’s influence on the intellectual fiber of the modern world. Her remarks are accurate still the internet has its uses, at least one of unparalleled value, that is as an encyclopedia and dictionary. The breadth and depth of its coverage is breathtaking while exceeding both encyclopedia and dictionary in its ease and speed of use.
Secondly, in its encyclopedic use as a provider of pictures and images it has no parallel. It is several major libraries and museums in one. If you wish to examine the art of almost of any conceivable artist of any time period it has a biography of the artist accompanied in Images with an extensive catalog of the artists’ works adjustable to a variety of sizes.
Images of anything are there including maps of all ages, any insect, any device, anything. It is an unparalleled medical compendium. There has never been anything like the internet and it is free with your provider’s bill
If one depends on the internet for serious study, as Miss Noonan says, it will be superficial and difficult to use compared to books. The older generations with their print education are better prepared but the younger generations raised on computers may find it more difficult to get in depth information or know how to distinguish the deeper meaning of the subject.
Another major shortcoming of the internet is its ‘our way or the highway’ format which conditions the user to accept contracts that can’t be modified. One is conditioned to accept a complete lack of flexibility. Thus the political situation Miss Noonan complains about where there is little nuance in political affiliation.
However the internet has come along and contributed to a major change in consciousness. Miss Noonan, like myself, is of an age that can remember, that is know, the antecedent non-electronic world. In many ways that world is now a parallel universe, a former universe that up-do-date generations do not want to recognize. The motivations of people of those times are completely foreign to young people’s consciousness and incomprehensible.
The books that we elders found so wonderful are actually written in a style and vocabulary that is so foreign that the great classics of the nineteenth century through 1950-60 might as well be as Middle English was to us. You have to work real hard to understand it.
Thus the young, and this is important, have no intellectual resources from before say 1960 and for those born after 1996, the year the internet came into being, what happened before that date is ancient history. As I am approaching eighty young people look at me in wonder as though I have returned from the grave. I do a lot of walking and I can understand the reaction; I don’t see many eighty year olds on my journeys and young people don’t go into old folks’ haunts. There are settlements, colonies, called retirement communities containing virtually no one under seventy so the oldsters have self-segregated becoming invisible.
Thus the effect of the internet is multiplied. A world is being created that is not being understood, that adjustments to accommodate it are not even being attempted. In the changing conditions in which the American and Western world is being submerged by the rise of the colored peoples it may be that even current conditions will be submerged in a tidal wave of colored influences.
The US and Europe except for an execrated few, the Deplorables as Hillary Clinton terms us, doesn’t even seem to see what is happening. The quiet appropriation of Western culture by the Chinese occurs without mention, by which I mean the main stream media. It is forbidden to open your eyes. The Chinese are buying up Hollywood and other media, wresting it from the Jews, and thus gaining control of the creation of mores. Shortly movies and TV will be more Sino-Western than Judaeo-Western.
The books that Miss Noonan and the oldsters revere so much will not only become unintelligible because of the internet but because the language will be hybridized into a sort of Sino-English while Chinese will become the lingua-franca, hence whole libraries will sit unused.
I visited UC Berkeley a couple years ago and was startled at the very low percentage of non-colored students and they were quite hostile in a quiet way to my White presence. I received many disapproving stares and a comment or two behind my back.
Of course at UC one can’t get back in the library stacks unless a graduate student. The main Bancroft library of which I speak is closed to the student body but there are many secondary libraries undergraduates can visit including an extensive Asiatic building of considerable size. That library was fairly busy although all the libraries were being used as dormitories.
Interestingly, within the Bancroft building UC has created a little museum of a library with card catalogs and no electronics. This was occupied by mostly sleeping White students. The books on the shelves looked like a remake of the movie Zardoz. I imagined that they couldn’t have been touched for years maybe decades. Viz. H.G. Wells The Time Machine.
Yes, Miss Noonan, it is a changing world, a world being recreated, but you must remember a person of your age is essentially a Time Traveler or from a parallel universe and this this universe may become parallel before too long. Welcome to the creation of a Brave New World.
PS: You Can’t Go Home Again.