Socrates Prophecies the Internet

You [Theuth] who are the father of letters, from a paternal love of your own children have been led to attribute to them a quality which they cannot have; for this discovery of yours [writing] will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.

~Plato, Phaedrus, 275

Of course, Socrates was speaking of the invention of writing, but is there any more apt description of the Internet Age?

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The Treasury of Knowledge Is Stored in the Human Mind, Not Google

My child, knowledge is a treasury and your heart is its strongbox. As you study all of knowledge, you store up for yourselves good treasures, immortal treasures, incorruptible treasures, which never decay nor lose the beauty of their brightness. In the treasure-house of wisdom are various sorts of wealth, and many filing-places in the store-house of your heart. … The orderly arrangement is clarity of knowledge. Dispose and separate each single thing into its own place. … Confusion is the mother of ignorance and forgetfulness, but orderly arrangement illuminates the intelligence and secures memory.

~Hugh of St. Victor, “The Three Best Memory-Aids for Learning History”

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