There was a time when centralized authority had collapsed, and all the institutions upon which society depended were shown to be fraudulent and misused. There were three Popes, two of whom had children, and they maintained private armies which lived off the land wandering between various "countries". Livelihoods were destroyed overnight by pirates, pillagers, and thugs parading as Princes.
At the same time, the Arts flourished. And students came from all over the world to study "law" and business management from famous scholars.
We now look back at this time as the Italian Renaissance.
Today, we have a high level of institutional collapse coupled with the same astounding scientific and creative achievement. The Sacred Cows of our society -- our political institutions and parties are fractured, hypocritical and impotent, our religious are not "believed", even our "juries" are suspect, and nothing is stable, regular, and secure. And yet, the "story" is being made in ever richer ways, and our science is bursting on the verge of a Singularity. That event is like the Italian Renaissance -- we are in the midst of a qualititative shift from our own past.
- Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable. I am filled with joy. It can't be helped.
Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired. Filled, just filled, with Joy.