Two years before the outbreak of World War II the not so naive and certainly not a sentimental novelist asked what will happen if students at school refuse to share their teachers values. What if they stop admiring poets or composers? What if they laugh at a curriculum and a canon? What if they fail to answer questions about Mozart and about murder? The novelist was Witold Gombrowicz and the novel was “Ferdydurke”.
A century later teenagers build table top nuclear reactors without leaving their parents’ houses. A century later teenagers leave their teachers’classrooms. They start green crusades or vega jihads or both. A century later teenagers become celebrities. A century later they never leave the smart phone screens watched by millions of teenage fans. All are watched by machines of not so loving grace.
Do they dream about Zen and the art of computer maintenance? Dreams go viral. In dreams begin responsibilities. Gods or Bots? Can anything be sacred again?
Haarlem, October 14, 2020