• It was too difficult. People weren't prepared to put in the hours on the donkey work - you know, dates and facts and so on. I think in retrospect my generation will be seen as a turning point. From now on there'll be a net loss of knowledge in Europe. The difference between a peasant community in fourteenth-century Iran and modern London, though, is that if with their meager resources the villagers occasionally slipped backward, it was not for lack of trying. But with us, here in England, it was a positive choice. We chose to know less.