Hi Dave. This made me think of something I recently wrote.
Merely being well-read is not enough to be knowledgeable, as possibly first noted by Socrates. Plato wrote in Phaedrus that Socrates felt the written language would result in ‘men filled, not with wisdom, but with the conceit of wisdom, who will be a burden to their fellows’. Socrates saw a core truth in learning from artefacts like books. We cannot become complacent with knowledge and just store it away. It has a shelf life and needs to be used, tested, and experienced.
Books are a technology that take much away from the oral tradition, yet also enable mass literacy and one could even say the scientific revolution. The community as curriculum may have effects just as profound on society. Books did not destroy conversations, and the internet will not destroy books. At least I don’t think it will, given the huge increase in book sales this past decade.