Now, Sadly

….The third mistake we are making, though, is more invisible, and perhaps the greatest of all — what this essay is about: we cannot learn from one another anymore. How do we learn things? We can learn only in these three ways: from our own mistakes, from the mistakes all people have made, or from the fortunes and misfortunes of our peers. And of those three, the swiftest way to learn is to simply look at what others are doing, that work, and copy it.

Mimicry, of course, is how babies learn the most basic things — yet we cannot seem to even handle that much. So here is the unforgiving truth. We, in this age, this time, have regressed to something past an infantile state: we cannot even manage the mimicry that babies perform happily, the most basic form of learning that exists. We have regressed beyond regression itself.

And so we live in an age that feels paralyzed, stuck, unable to even grow like a baby does. It is failing the most basic test of all: the test of ignorance, of folly, of being unable to see, hold, mature, develop, grow. History is easy to forget — and it’s easiest of all to take it for granted when you are the one who has not learned from it yet. What do you call a world that can’t learn from itself? It is not even a baby. It is something more like an old man, on the edge of darkness.

December 2017

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