Goals for 2100: A Return to Medieval Social Interactions

20Apr08

According to Barbara Tuchman (A Distant Mirror, 1978, p. 39),

[M]uch of medieval life was supportive because it was lived collectively in infinite numbers of groups, orders, associations, brotherhoods.  Never was man less alone.  Even in bedrooms married couples often slept in company with their servants and children.  Except for hermits and recluses, privacy was unknown.

No doubt people in the Middle Ages were capable of narrowmindedness and pettiness.  Then, as now, it probably depended upon where you were and who you were.  Some people are not going to do well in small towns; some are not going to do well in office politics.  It is probably healthier to have a lot of people around, so that people who are now isolated will generally tend to have individuals in their daily life who become familiar with their foibles.  In a world that treats everyone as a stranger, it can be easy for everyone to become strange and estranged.  And that’s strange.

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