23rd November 2020

We have passed beyond the age of information into the age of disinformation, where fact and fiction are as easily confused and cunningly substituted as gold and pyrite. Problematically, with the ascending import of learning over practicality comes the rise of connivence, false witness, machination, trickery, exploitation, the manipulation of verbiage by the knowing to confuse and often dupe those less well informed.

When the fake transcends the real whom are we inclined to trust for clarity? Do we turn to our elders, the teachers, to the wise, the magistrates and representatives, or if they too are infected by the same veil of dubiety whom might be the natural and attainable oracles of voraciousness?

The reference of my youth was the British library, containing I believe a copy of virtually every volume ever printed in my native tongue. I spent many an hour, day, often even a week at a time dawdling in that remarkable institute, researching the obtuse, exotic, unremarkable, whatever unfamiliar flavor had happened to start my taste buds a drooling on the particular occasion. These were days long before computers you understand, when librarian assistants would flit hither and thither betwixt the  floors, each lever walled floor to ceiling with irreplaceable manuscripts and masterpieces, in search for the volumes and documents I had listed from the millions of six by four inch cards filed away Dewey decimal fashion in drawers in the reference section. Some books would arrive at my reading station almost momentarily, some took perhaps an hour, the extremely rare or oversubscribed volumes up to a week or so. Every item was original, unexpurgated, without censure, and I, like any other enquiring visitor, was allowed to absorb as little or as much of that first-hand narrative as was my pleasure. Such wonderous opportunity, unapparelled access to the immediate, has left me with a malignant distrust of second-hand sources, whether spoken, written, printed, or electronically displayed upon a screen.

Trust only that which stems from the author, but always recall it is still but opinion.

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