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I absolutely agree that reading some classics would be valuable for anyone, but I think it would be hard to learn anything concrete from a lot of what is considered "art".

My argument was that we aren't destroying the silos because we hate the information, we're destroying them because we hate the silos. And if that's beneficial, who cares if most people, who wouldn't have otherwise read Russian literature or listened to Mozart, still don't?

Who cares if other people, who most likely wouldn't have read the manual for their computer, still don't?

I mean, Google is obviously supplanting the manual for a lot of things, but the point is much the same. If people read the fucking manual, they'll have a lot fewer problems. And a lot of the classics are pretty damn good manuals for life.

I'd venture that someone could spend a lifetime attempting to read/listen to the 'classics' and still not fully accomplish that goal. So does this mean that we should all dwell in the past and eschew the future? Or that we should eschew the past and focus on the future?

The future is often the past repeating itself, but most aren't aware of this.

That one is trotted out a little too often. I much prefer Twain's "History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme."

It's important to know of the past, but many who use this argument are simply afraid of the present, and are attempting to denigrate new ideas and discoveries.

I said often, not always. Also, it tends to be an amalgam of different pasts. Like right now what the US is doing in the Middle East looks a whole lot like Athens during the Peloponnesian War, and what we're doing financially looks like what Japan did.

So, I do think it is an accurate phrase, but misunderstood.

You're not going to find out about 'what Japan did' by reading 'the classics' though. The past is encompassed in more than just classic literature.

Quite true, but classics focus on distilling principles. If the authors' thinking was valid then, there isn't any reason it shouldn't be valid now, as I've been arguing that at least parts of the past repeat.

I think that in a lot of cases, if you're looking to learn something "concrete" from a piece of art, or art in general, you might be looking at it the wrong way. A lot of the best art is instructive in some way, but not the same way that a wikipedia article or a technical how-to is.

Perhaps not all knowledge is concrete.

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