The internet’s provided so much so fast and so easily that it’s hard to remember the Dewey Decimal System and hunt down “current” Encyclopaedias to reference, much less having a Thesaurus, Style guides, and something other than a rackety old typewriter and stack of papers to write on.

That was how I grew up. I had an electric typewriter, which put me among the aristocracy. We had an old Encyclopedia collection from the 1950s or ’60s, and I was embarrassed that our knowledge in our home wasn’t more current. Those most likely were hand-me-downs from my maternal grandfather or the paternal stepfather I never knew but had disposable income in a time that many did not. He was a banker if my sources are accurate. That series most likely, and if I remember right, was a Collier’s set that I referenced frequently in my curiosity about the world. Even then, much had changed in those decades. What to have was a set of Encyclopaedia Britannica’s that at the time may have cost $1000. A hefty sum, for knowledge, no doubt. But that’s what libraries are for, eh? It’s amazing that we take knowledge so much for granted, that we don’t even use what we have at our disposal. With a laptop and a poor internet connection, you could learn anything at all. Whatever your heart desires. Literally. From the biggest and brightest people and institutions who’ve made their assets wide-open for everyone’s use. Same with art and museums. You no longer need to travel to Europe to see fine works of art, you can do it via VR in your bathroom if you want. 

So, of course, what do humans do? Ignore that ability and sit on the couch playing video games and watch Netflix and argue online in YouTube comments about who’s dumber and watching 1-second hyper-stimula on TikTok. We’ve left the world of reality and gone into a suborbital stratosphere perpetually powered by the insane and surreal.

And for those that want to document the circus, here are a litany of resources to help. Editors, tools, references, guides, you name it.