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.