People of my age often say "Kids are so much smarter these days than we were. They know so many things that we didn’t."
They do know more “things,” just because they have the new media. But that sort of knowledge is all breadth, with no depth.
Imagine trying to see one thing closely with lights strobing and flashbulbs popping in every square inch of the visual field.
I don’t think much of David Hume’s philosophy, but he was an astute observer of government. If he was right in his famous 1742 essay “That Politics May Be Reduced to a Science,” then the prospects of applying the sort of science he had in mind to our own country should be rather dimmer now than formerly.
In a conversation with one of the Athenian bully boys, Socrates suggested that what makes statesmen great is not whether they are good or bad at doing things and at giving the people what they want -- but whether, by their conduct and rhetoric, they leave the people better or worse than they found them.
Commenting on CBS This Morning on the end of her husband’s term of office and the election of a rival, the outgoing First Lady said “We feel the difference now. See, now, we’re feeling what not having hope feels like.”