Monday, October 09, 2006

Bloggers And The Decline Of Western Civilization

Niall Ferguson's recent Vanity Fair commentary "Empire Falls" takes as its main thesis the parallels between the Western world of today and of the later Roman Empire. So there are several quotes from Edward Gibbon's The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire used, but this bit stood out:

The minds of men were gradually reduced to the same level, the fire of genius was extinguished.… The name of Poet was almost forgotten; that of Orator was usurped by the sophists. A cloud of critics, of compilers, of commentators, darkened the face of learning, and the decline of genius was soon followed by the corruption of taste.… This diminutive stature of mankind … was daily sinking below the old standard. —Gibbon, Chapter II.

"A cloud of critcs, of compilers, of commentators" sounds like the Roman Empire was perhaps eat up with bloggers.

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