"There's trouble everywhere, and that's not news. It's not new, at any rate....

"...How come the world is such a mess, and has been at least since we started keeping records?

"Some of our problems have seemed obvious: not enough food to go around, or someone hogging the supply; outsiders taking what we want or need; and disease.

"But we've been pretty good, maybe effective is a better word, at making problems for ourselves.

"Universities, Death, and Printing Presses

"About a millennium back, European scholastic guilds formed the first universities.

"Over the next few centuries folks like Hildegard of Bingen and Albertus Magnus, both Saints, were laying the foundations of today's science. Designers worked the bugs out of Gothic architecture.

"The Great Famine of 1315-1317; Black Death of 1346-1353; and Hundred Years' War, 1337-1453; were major speed bumps in Europe's history.

"Johannes Gutenberg developed an efficient printing press using movable type around 1450 — about five centuries after Bi Sheng's invention.

"We might not know about Bi Sheng, if Shen Kuo hadn't mentioned him in 'Dream Pool Essays,' and that's another topic.

"Anyway, efficient printing tech let folks in Europe share ideas faster and in more detail: upsetting quite a few applecarts in the process...."

More in A Catholic Citizen in America: https://brendans-island.com/catholic-citizen/sin-original-and-otherwise/