25th November ‘10  (taken from my personal journal…)

Were the masters of old really so great?  So great that we should still follow them today…?

We are now living in a great age where it is increasingly possible to extract information at depth on almost any subject you can think of via the internet.
In the past this was still possible, but one had to go to much greater lengths to find this information, then physical travel would have been necessary to read, view, or experience it.
The beauty of the internet, is of course, that you can search for and find and read and absorb information on almost any subject from the comfort of your living room… and from or about anywhere, and anywhen, in the world!
There is no travel costs, or limits on time to this continually expanding, infinite encyclopaedia of ‘life, the universe and everything’!  The only limit is that very rarely does a person get the chance to experience the necessary facets of this information.

The masters of old didn’t have the incredible opportunities of learning that we now have, so their lessons would have been based upon experiential knowledge of their own, and that of their teachers.
Information travelled slowly, so a person had more time to ponder on the latest piece of information received before the next instalment.
As a result, it is quite possible that they were better at what they did in their field than we are now, but the limitations they would have taken for granted, therefore were possibly not even aware of, would be horrendously limiting to us today.
As an example, look at how Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Lavoisier, Brunel, etc are revered in their respective fields.  They were at the absolute top of their professions at that time.  But if one looks at each of these fields now, one would see that they are no more able than a schoolboy of today.

I think that the masters of old were a stepping-stone along a path to where we are today.  Our understanding is far greater than theirs could ever have been, quite simply because we now have the ability to see a much larger, worldly, holistic view.
I think that they should be revered for what they did, but what we can learn from them is limited, and perhaps the majority of their lessons and their understanding of the world is no longer relevant to today’s world.

We are the future Masters of old!  – DW