severed

We are a people now illiterate in a way that is unprecedented for the human race. We can decipher linguistic signs on a page, but we have no songs and immemorial stories in our hearts. The pagan Germanic warrior could not read, and where were the books for it anyway? But he had centuries of song in his mind, and he well knew of that specially gifted man, the scop, who could sing by heart many thousands of verses about the old heroes and their adventures, and could even compose new songs of his own: wordum wrixlan, weaving patterns of words that were as intricate as the vermiculate embellishments upon the hilt of a warrior’s sword.

I have sometimes been accused of wishing that the culture roundabout me were truly Catholic, or truly Christian, or truly something or other, but my principal objection to it is that it is no longer, properly speaking, a culture at all. The deep roots have been severed.

-Anthony Esolen ‘After the Exile: Poetry and the Death of Culture‘ Public Discourse 

I fear we are moving beyond a natural skepticism regarding expert claims to the death of the ideal of expertise itself: A Google-fueled Wikipedia-based, blog-sodden collapse of any division between professionals and laypeople, teachers and students, knowers and wonderers — in other words, between those with achievement in an area and those with none.

-Tom Nichols ‘How America Lost Faith in Expertise And Why That’s a Giant Problem’ Foreign Affairs

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