305 to 30 BCE in Alexandria, Egypt the greatest library of antiquity was established and maintained. . . until someone played with matches and burned it down.
It’s considered to be one of the greatest losses of cultural knowledge in all of human history.
It wasn’t just a library; it had meeting places, lecture halls, gardens, and more. It was the living heart of the human spirit at that point in history. It was the center of learning, innovation, and progress.
And someone burned it down.
In the alternate universe where it wasn’t destroyed, I’m sure they have teleportation by now.
I used to be upset about living the reality where it was ruined, until I realized we’re living in the age of Alexandria right now.
And it doesn’t matter.
Knowledge Is (not) Power
Never before have we had the entire wealth of human knowledge at our disposal. Want to know the average rainfall of an obscure city in a country we’ve never heard of in 1978? We can do that. (It’s 4″) Back in Alexandria v.1 you’d have to get to the library, find someone who knew where the scroll you’re hunting is hiding, go find it, and then spend time reading it.
Now, you’re lost if you make your way to page 2 of Google results.
The important stuff isn’t knowledge. Fact & figures. They’re useless without an overarching intellectual framework that can make sense of it all.
Not all information is created equal. Some ideas are more successful than others. Some intentions will get you the completely opposite outcome than intended. (What’s the road to hell paved with, again?)
An objective understanding of the world as provided through the scientific method and the application of human reason is the sole approach that can be the legitimate source of knowledge, strategy derived thereof, and meaning for your life.
Not a book of bedtime stories.
Cold, hard, reason & rational self interest can benefit everyone.
Filter your knowledge with the application of reason from first principles, and you can safely ignore a lot of “knowledge” out there.
While I never revel in the destruction of information, I’m becoming less enamored with the hoarding of it. Know less. Know better.
Free your mind.