Friday, February 17, 2006

Thought provoking.....

Read this post by adam bosworth.....

Unlike many of my peers in the computer industry, I was a history major in college and have loved and read history ever since. I studied, in particular, the progressive era in history, an era when the industrial revolution evolved from the grim satanic mills of England into the modern industrial world. But the understanding I always had was that none of this would or could have been possible without the renaisaance and without the slow but sure rise of secular humanism and the spirit of scientific and intellectual inquiry that started at that time. After the fall of the Roman empire, in many ways the lights went out and, in the 14th century particularly, life in Europe hit a new low stroke the the terrible plague, the start of the mini ice age, and the wars between France and England. In the 15th century we saw the Spanish inquisition and the reconquista, but really, it was the last gasp of intolerant religious fanaticism and the spirit of inquiry and discovery from art to music to science was everywhere. The lights had been turned back on. As a child, growing up in New York City, I took for granted that mankind had learned these lessons. I assumed that mankind understood that freedom to think, to reason, and to experiment were paramount and that any irrational intolerant irrational beliefs that threatened these freedoms or, even worse, abused or injured people in the name of some mystical or fanatic cause were horrific reminders of the past.


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