Today on Dogwalk we talked about The Library of Alexandria. We've referenced it on other episodes, but this place was really like the first university in the history of the world. It'd be like taking Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, and rolling them all into one and also giving them all the written knowledge of the world. A super Ivy League that effectively had all the internet knowledge of the time without the porn and no bullshit courses like gender studies. And the people there discovered INCREDIBLE things.
One of the greatest minds there was this guy named Eratosthenes. I bet you've never heard of him. I bet you do know about this guy named Copernicus though. You probably read about him in school. Copernicus is credited with discovering that the Earth orbited around the Sun and not the other way around. Copernicus published that theory in 1514 AD and he has been in texts books being lauded as a genius ever since, which he no doubt was (for a Polish guy).
Only problem is that Eratosthenes made that discovery with just fucking math at the Library of Alexandria like 1700 YEARS EARLIER. We, as humans, knew that the Earth orbited the Sun wayyyyy back before Jesus was even born and then like...forgot? Forgot for the better part of TWO millennia. How the fuck is that possible? The Library of Alexandria was destroyed in wars and all of the wisdom from their texts was lost to the ashes of history. Who fucking knows what else was lost in there. Maybe the show Ancient Aliens doesn't even exist because there were scrolls written in Alexandria where people gave a first hand account. "Oh yeah, we talked to the aliens. They just stopped in for gas on their way to another galaxy. They were cool".
That story makes me very nervous. There is no guarantee that we are just going to make progress forever like we have been for the last 500 years or so. Some kind of random ass solar mass ejection that knocks out the power grid, the satellite system, and electricity and we are DEAD. Stone age shit. Nobody knows how to do anything or get anywhere without google. Most people can't even cook. If that happens or there is a meteor strike or the yellowstone caldera blows and we are FUCKED because we don't even really have books anymore. It's just all digital on the internet. Our phones are the new library of Alexandria and if we lose access to that for whatever reason the species is fucked. We will be back to looking at the stars in 200 years, thinking the Earth is flat and the sun moves around us.