Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2016 August 31 • Wednesday

Patrick McGoohan said, I think, that the penny-farthing bicycle in The Prisoner was meant to symbolize how we develop technology faster than we can healthily process the changes in our lives that more advanced technology causes.

This got me thinking about that famous story about Hitler demanding that Paris be destroyed and asking if it was burning and how, if he'd had today's technology, he'd expect immediate photo and video evidence on his cell phone.

Spend a couple of minutes with Google, however, and you'll find that there's a very good chance that this story never happened, not the way it's been popularly told and remembered, anyway.

But never mind, I found a much better example of the benefits of slow communication in an article about democracy in ancient Athens, written by Mary Beard in a recent Times Literary Supplement (July 1, 2016, No. 5909).

Plato was not the only writer to see the Athenian electorate as an undisciplined, uneducated and fickle mob, swayed