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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Mencken on moral dogmatism / New technology and old thinking

"Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on "I am not too sure.""

--- Minority Report : H.L. Mencken's Notebooks (418)

Someone quoted this with regard to religion, but I can think of other arenas where it would apply as well.

On a side note, this book is available for borrowing on Open Library.

I'm flabbergasted that one would need to "borrow" an e-book. Despite it not being in the FAQ I'm pretty sure this is because of licensing issues.

Someone pointed out that this is no different from borrowing a paper book from a library, but this is like how the first cars were literally horseless carriages - thinking had not yet adapted to the new technological paradigm.

The advantage of this approach, at least, is that one can read books online that one would otherwise be unable to. And that anyone can donate any book to be digitised, so potentially any book can be digitised regardless of licensing issues.
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