For many, printing was an overwhelmingly positive innovation. Almost as soon as the first presses were established in Italy, learned men rushed to sing its praises. To some, in fact, it seemed almost divine. In 1468, the bishop of Aleria, Giovanni Andrea de Bussi (1417–75), hailed it as a ‘holy art’ (sancta ars).
Does Ars Technica mean Art of Technology?Checked Wikipedia and yes! It does!
Previously, Filippo observed, the inaccessibility of the Bible and other devotional works helped keep the common people on the straight and narrow. Unable to understand the Latin language, they relied on priests to explain the meaning of scripture and the practices appropriate to a Christian life.
Oh no! Don’t challenge our monopoly!
But also, religious expertise is being challenged at this point by less educated fools who haven’t thought thoroughly about things but are overconfident. Exactly what’s happening to science right now around the world but specifically in the US.
However distasteful a character Filippo de Strata may seem, his polemics against printing hence serve to illustrate that, amid the fog of change, the line between progress and peril can appear blurred, even to the most keen-eyed observer. It is perhaps just as well that, in this case, wishful thinking prevailed over unpleasant, if not unjustified, fears
Final thought – not really a war but a battle that was quickly lost.