Nostalgia for a romanticized past is a cliché, especially as we age. Art, statecraft and social mores are commonly assumed to be at a nadir in the current day, compared to whichever era suits your fancy. I don’t agree with this perspective, but I’m not here to argue that point today. I would just like to point out that for us connoisseurs of the human condition, who demand that warts and blemishes be included in the portrait of humanity, this is the golden age for conspiracy theories and lunacy en masse. What does the past have to compare with our modern genius? Sure, you may have been able to convince your village that your neighbor put a hex on you and caused your crops to fail, but we have social media. Tulipmania today wouldn’t even crack the weekly top ten of insane things that ostensibly-educated people believe. We have the equivalent of Homer, Dante, Shakespeare, Michelangelo, Mozart, Goethe and Beethoven walking among us today, all foaming at the mouth and guano-insane, and we don’t even appreciate it.