Tag Archives: history and civics: lost

The Mystery of the Rotary Phone

These two 17-year-olds are smart enough to be engineering students: but can they figure out how to use a rotary phone?

We’re not making fun of them. They’ve never seen, let alone used, one of these before. And yet it wasn’t so long ago that a rotary phone was found in every American household.

This is how knowledge gets lost. And it can happen quickly.

All right, rotary phones are obsolete, we don’t need them anymore, few people still have one. The rotary phone has been replaced by more advanced technology. But much more important knowledge can get lost, without being replaced: a knowledge of history, for instance, or a grasp of civics. Thanks to our laughably inadequate “education” system, knowledge of history and civics is all but extinct. That’s why there are millions of young people who literally do not know that the law of the land, the Constitution, limits what the government is allowed to do.

We don’t need the rotary phone anymore, but we still need history and civics. And we’re quickly losing that knowledge.

We could wind up paying a very heavy penalty for that.


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