Daily Draw: Etteilla Thoth Tarot, The Magician
One way to find out what was going on in the past is to look at suggestions for reform. It is not infallible - it seems that conduct books which advised young men not to spit in food to claim their share of a banquet were intended as humour.
Still I read with interest Roger Bacon's 'Four general causes of human ignorance' which are:
1. using weak and unreliable authority (sources)
2. custom and habit
3. prejudice (or following the crowd)
4. concealing one's own ignorance with an exhibition of apparent wisdom
The causes formed part of his broader proposal for the reform of the medieval universities. It would seem medieval scholars were by no means immune to academic fault (although we have to factor in Bacon's generally combative personality).
Number four made me chuckle - if we banned that one the entire modern university system would collapse.
Being a chancer part of the job description - it is a matter of degree...