Thursday, April 30, 2009

Merchants of Light

I'm in Dumas, Texas, at the Window on the Plains Museum, and I'm thinking about Francis Bacon's The New Atlantis, written in England in 1623. It is a resolutely utopian work of thought and political philosophy, and I'm struck by the role of the "Merchants of Light" -- individuals whose job it is to traverse the world for intellectual treasures and to bring them back to share, and to create repositories of knowledge and learning.

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