There are those who argue that the technological revolution of the past 30 years has led to a decline in thinking skills and that unmixed blessings of progress don’t exist. On the other hand, there are some who argue that those who argue against progress and the computer are, in one way or another, foolish.
The latter group often point to the last six centuries of development and the resistance that was met at every turn of the screw. Perhaps the icon of the opening into the new world of knowledge and progress is the printing press, invented by Gutenberg.
I love my books and I can never express my debt to those who have made it possible for a two-bit, inattentive, unacademic boy from Wisconsin’s eternal winter (with the occasional Christmas thrown in) to commune with CS Lewis and David Hicks (not to mention St. Athanasius, St. Augustine, Aristotle, Plato, etc.).
I cannot pretend, however, that Gutenberg’s Press didn’t invert Europe. The simple fact is that technology is and always has been a destabilizing influence.
The rapid advance of technology has guaranteed us of one thing: continual upheaval in the social order. Wisdom is needed now perhaps more than ever, but it seems as hard to find as a needle in a haystack.
At least, when the technology is on. It’s there, and when we find it we should love it. But we can’t lose our sobriety because the information (which is not the path to wisdom) is so easy to find.