The concept of the burning of our storehouses of knowledge has particular resonance for me as a designer. Working as a graphic designer for over 25 years, I have been a member of a profession that has collectively performed the role of the scribes of our generation. The focus of social communication has had an unfortunate consequence of burning our storehouses of knowledge by giving indiscriminate attention to the trivial and novel instead of the consequential and beneficial. We have worked in service of a hierarchy and system that is incapable of thinking about long-term effects. In terms of power and influence, advertising and marketing dwarf all other forms of social communication, because they drive the engine of capitalism. The unintended consequence is the burning of our histories, science, literature, and art by the trivialization of our public discourse when buying and selling consume our thoughts and our entire way of life. When celebrities, billionaires, and salesmen are presidents, we effectively set fire to our faculties of reason and burn to the ground the project for the common good.

Written by

Designer, writer, educator, social architect, founder, Builders Collective, Leading with Design. https://stephenbau.com

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