Wednesday, September 3

Knowledge is Power

A hand-me-down of sorts in my possession is a 1945 Encyclopædia Britannica. I treasure it not because it's old, but because it's old.

I know that doesn't make much sense, but a book - or volumes of a book - that chronicles history before any given date is more likely to document the time before in much more detail than what you'd expect to see in any modern book.

Why? Consider this: That 1945 Encyclopædia Britannica has twenty-four volumes. Go out and get a 2008 edition and it will have twenty-four volumes. Where, exactly, did the last 63 years go? On the cutting-room floor, that's where.

I commented on the old vs. new scenario to Marilee this morning; she said that it's "old information". That's true - much of what is past is outdated. Not relevant. But not unimportant.

I used that set of volumes through my senior year of high school. US History was a blast, literally, particularly for the information on World War II. To a point.

Because, you see, the war was still in progress. The maps in the atlas were only correct up to a certain date.

Of the tens-of-thousands entries in that encyclopedia, there's one topic missing.

There's no entry for Atomic.

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