But now things have changed. In the 'information age' we can see movies and TV shows whenever we want, not having to rely on fragmentary memories, and we can track down even quite obscure information with a few mouse clicks and a bit of effort.
And this has changed us. I realised this when I was talking to an old friend, for many years a bit of a hermit living in the wilds of the French countryside (although he finds his way into towns and cities, gigs and recording studios pretty regularly).
He has no computer, no Internet and a partially functioning phone. And still operates as if he lives in this older world, sending me little half-remembered or half-understood fragments of pop science, conspiracy theories, mysticism and cod philosophy that signify a deeper, mysterious reality. Now not all of this is flaky, although he has a tendency to make it so.
The problem is, unlike 30 years ago where contact with some of these ideas was rare, they've become common currency, and in moments I can explore them, read vast amounts of source material and encounter balanced, syncretic opinions to use as a basis for my own exploration.
So what's the point?
Well, it made me think a little about blogging. In the old days, the presentation of a piece of this hidden, poorly known information would have been enough - "look at this, think about, the world is not what we thought." And with little other input, fit it into a broader worldview created from such fragments.
But now the information is freely available, all that's needed is a pointer to it and a little contextualisation (and perhaps some related information or interpretations).
And I guess that's what I do on my blog. Assemble bits of information, and attempt to contextualise and leverage them to point to other information I consider relevant and useful in terms of understanding the world.