“The production of too many useful things results in too many useless people”*…
* Karl Marx
As we ponder, then pivot from pointlessness, we might recall that it was on this date in 1536 that William Tyndale was strangled then burned at the stake for heresy in Antwerp. An English scholar and leading Protestant reformer, Tyndale effectively replaced Wycliffe’s Old English translation of the Bible with a vernacular version in what we now call Early Modern English (as also used, for instance, by Shakespeare). Tyndale’s translation was first English Bible to take advantage of the printing press, and first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation. Consequently, when it first went on sale in London, authorities gathered up all the copies they could find and burned them. But after England went Protestant, it received official approval and ultimately became the basis of the King James Version.
Ironically, Tyndale incurred Henry VII’s wrath after the King’s “conversion” to Protestantism, by writing a pamphlet decrying Henry’s divorce from Catherine of Aragon. Tyndale moved to Europe, where he continued to advocate Protestant reform, ultimately running afoul of the Holy Roman Empire, which sentenced him to his death.