They Ate Knowledge Too Fast

by Lisa Call on September 25, 2011

in Being an Artist

The Truth Should Come Little By Little

I was chatting with my mom the other day and she remembered a quote from something she read in high school that she said always stuck with her – something about eating knowledge too rapidly.

A quick google search (yes – the irony is fabulous) and I found the story: By the Waters of Babylon by Stephen Vincent Benét. The story is set in a future following the destruction of industrial civilization, and is narrated by a young man who is the son of a priest.

The quote my mom remembered:

“It is better the truth should come little by little. I have learned that, being a priest. Perhaps, in the old days, they ate knowledge too fast.”

Social Media

One would think that Benét was talking about the internet and social media but he was writing in 1937.

It makes my head spin sometimes how quickly technology, and specifically social media, changes.

And how quickly people catch up. Usually I’m right on that boat figuring out the latest and greatest and not falling behind.

When google+ came around this summer I wasted several days getting dialed in.

And then a month or so ago, I lost quite a bit of interest in the whole social media thing. It all just felt way too fast, way too much (mostly irrelevant) information, but mostly way too shallow.

I like to have deeper, more meaningful conversations.


A few months back, I dusted off my RSS reader (google reader) and went back to reading artists blogs and spending less time on social media. The writing and content tends to be deeper and more thoughtful on blogs than the 1 line comments found on facebook.

I’ve also recommitted to writing my blog and while not yet back on a regular schedule, my intention is to go back to writing more substantial posts myself.

I’ve slowly been hunting for new artists that are engaged in thoughtful discourse via their blogs, as many of the folks I used to read have all but abandoned their blogs for social media.

Fortunately Joanne Mattera is still writing meaty and interesting posts. Her latest Marketing Monday was excellent food for thought: Who is a “Professional Artist”?.

Not really related to the theme of this post (technology) but a nice alternative for those that aren’t interested in yet another article contemplating the place of social media in my life.


Pat September 25, 2011 at 8:16 am

Great read on “professional” by Joanne Mattera, along with the comments from other readers. Thank you for forwarding. I especially found it interesting in view of the professional artist category requirements for SAQA.

Lisa Call October 4, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Pat – yes! It would be good to have a substantive conversation on the saqa list about what it means to be a professional artist.

Myrna September 25, 2011 at 8:56 am

I’m not surprised that you’ve changed directions or returned to your “roots” however we phrase it. The Internet is so amazing for some things and such a loss of others.

Lisa Call October 4, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Myrna – yes indeed – at some things the internet is fabulous – just need to keep in mind that not everything on the internet is created equal :)

Kristine Brooks September 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Social media keeps me from connecting in truly meaningful ways with the humans I have worked so hard to make proper connections with. I have always preferred my blogroll to FB or Twitter, and now I’ve gone back to calling my friends on the telephone. So old fashioned and yet such beautiful connectivity. Hearing the nuances of a voice is a much deeper connection. I wish you luck in your search for great blogs and hope you will continue to share them here.

Lisa Call October 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm


I love that return to the phone. I’ve been trying that also. Not resorting to email just because it is easier. It takes more time but hearing a friends voice can be such a mood booster.

Phillipa September 27, 2011 at 12:22 am

Give me blogs anyday. Follow so many these days that I dont want to add facebooking to my reading list as well.
I Only use Facebook for keeping up with the kids.
I prefer to read The “extra” you get on a blog as compared to “one-liners”
Regards Phillipa

Lisa Call October 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Phillipa – yes – with all the drawbacks of facebook, it’s still a great way to see what our kids are up to :)

Lisa Flowers Ross September 27, 2011 at 8:04 am

I prefer reading blogs, too. I enjoy the information you have on yours.

Lisa Call October 4, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Thank you Lisa!

patty September 29, 2011 at 8:33 am

I don’t facebook, Linkedin, or tweet. I don’t have an iPhone or an iPad and I am doing just fine. The time is going too fast as it is to be overloaded with information that does not have much meaning to it. I want to read blogs that inspire me. I can’t say that my blog is always inspiring, but I have had wonderful comments on my current remodeling projects helping others to get motivated. I have made connections with readers from the Yukon, Louisiana, Texas, New England, East Coast, and the mid West. We have gotten to know each other and I enjoy the friendships. I don’t think that would have happened with the other types of social media.

Lisa Call October 4, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Patty – remodeling seems to be one of people’s favorite topics :) I agree, I have formed some wonderful connections through my blog.

I applaud you for keeping so much of that technology out of your life!

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