Many years ago, I remember reading what I felt to be a sad science fiction short story about a future in which people had deferred to machines for so long that they had forgotten the most basic of mathematics. Math was a skill that simply no longer existed. Although the name of the author and the name of that story have long been lost to the years, I’ll always remember the wonder of the characters in it when the multiplication tables are rediscovered wholly by accident. I wondered, at the time, if that was to be a way-point in the destiny of mankind. Nothing has happened since then to decrease my anxiety…I still wonder about this almost every day!
I am astounded by our knowledge of the world and how we can develop and make use of new technologies every day. But what astounds me much more is how much ancient peoples knew about the world and how effectively they were able to apply their knowledge. Our knowledge is vast and growing, but the fundamentals of our knowledge, the very tools from which it has been derived are ancient and based on careful, accurate thought and observation. It stretches the fabric of credulity to realize that such accurate observations and conclusions could be made hundreds, even thousands, of years ago using the most basic of crude instruments. As we continue to explore our world, we continually find structures, ruins and symbols that challenge our deepest beliefs about the ancient history of the world. The more we learn, the more we find we do not know, despite the reams of published academic speculation to the contrary.
It makes me wonder, if perhaps, we as a species haven’t forgotten as much or more than we will ever know in the future. Perhaps we are rediscovering some things rather than discovering them.
A question is only a question and this question has no answer, only deep wondering and wide-ranging thoughts. What do you think?
Hi folks...I'm into a second career as a fiction author. After more than thirty-seven years of professional managerial experience, scientific background, and a lifetime of practical skills, my love of reading, research and writing has combined into action stories about real people told in a tongue-in-cheek style.
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