Technology, books and cave art

Damn technology, I rate books and cave art higher for sources of knowledge.

I am writing this blog in an internet cafe.  My internet has crashed at home; it has been the story of the week: power cuts, software problems, hardware problems and now the internet.  Technology, when it works is great, but when it goes wrong, it is useless.

Internet is unreliable

I was speaking about the cave art I had seen on the internet to a friend, my friend suggested I buy some books, they said the internet tended to be unreliable on providing knowledge.  My friend is right, as an example there is an image on the internet circulating on blogs and official looking sites that is of deer and hunters, claimed to be located at Lascoux.  I took a tour of Lascoux cave art via a virtual reality internet site, and I did not see that image, which seemed out of character for the type of cave art there anyway.  Further research revealed that the error was made from someone copying an artist of cave art, claiming it was from Lascoux, and so everyone copied it without verifying the source.  This is the problem with the internet, it is full of crap and false knowledge.

Books are better than internet

I purchased six books on cave art and on the imagery of the Ice Age of Europe, a scan of these books reveals a wealth of new material that I would never have picked up on the internet.  I find the quality of knowledge on the internet to be poor, and frustrating.  Web sites often grab bits of knowledge from everywhere, takes it out of context, adds false knowledge, thus producing a questionable final content.  With regards to the internet it sometimes is like someone takes pieces of jigsaw from various jigsaw puzzles, glues the bits together, then claims they are the authentic thing.  Internet sites that are totally dedicated to a subject and can produce a complete jigsaw image are rare and invaluable.  I found some video and virtual reality especially useful on cave art, one video revealed what looks like a fish hidden in a bison image because it caught the cave art in certain light, something missing in all the photos I had seen. 

Cave Art and Books against Internet

Throughout Britain councils who are short of money are closing libraries, their claim to do this is that knowledge is available on the internet.  Sorry to say the internet is a highly unreliable source of knowledge, and only useful if the technology is working.  What strikes me about cave art is that places like Lascoux, Chauvet and Pech Merle are libraries of the knowledge of an entire people; designed as places of initiation for young hunters, these were the locations where the boy came face to face with all the knowledge of their people in an experiential, emotional and practical way.  Libraries and books are the next best thing to cave art; but the internet, is an unreliable, temporary and overrated source of knowledge.


6 responses to “Technology, books and cave art

  1. There was a time when books were considered technology–heck, even writing was considered such. Some famous philosophers (Socrates among them) railed against the dangers of writing. The pen, the pencil, the printing press: these were all technological implements at one time.

    It’s not technology that is the enemy: not the Internet, not computers, not Facebook, not Twitter, not television. The place to make a difference is in the minds of the users of all these implements: parents, educators, and others are crucial in teaching a responsible way to use technology.

    • Hi J, you may be aware of the debate about writing in the Phaedrus written by Plato, which shows both the failings and the benefits of writing. Like any tool, writing, technology, can be used well or badly. Alas, people are more likely to use these tools badly.

  2. The scribes made an awful lot of mistakes when they copied books by hand in the Middle Ages. And then there was the naughty bible which stated ‘Thou shalt comitt adultery’. Wrong info is nothing new.

  3. Good food for thought. I always wondered how does one sync their daily routine given so much tech stuff around us!!!! The Authors caught on to my thoughts. Great book, not to be missed.

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