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Nicked from nihilistic_kid
james_nicoll
The Economist looks at past moral panics and notes some striking patterns.

The memetic prophylactic recommended warning is for some of the comments.

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.

"Times are bad. Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book." - Marcus Tullius Cicero (allegedly; I haven't found a proper source for that).

High levels of literacy was considered a symptom of the End Times of the day?

The Romans were constantly worrying that the martial virtue that formed Rome was being undermined by the soft intellectualism of the Greeks.
-- NPH

Maybe he saw it as a sign of narcissism and self-indulgence.

Whether it's your theory or that of "NPH" that rules the day, it seems horrific that possessing literacy skills should ever be considered a threat to one's own nation.

Sadly, I suspect that quote is spurious. A nearly identical one is sometimes attributed to an "Assyrian" (or "Babylonian") tablet from "2800 BC" (or "3800 BC"); a discussion in this open thread at Making Light traced references back to 1908, without getting anything like an actual scholarly source.