A new Middle Ages?

Walking the dog I had one of those trains of thought that builds on itself. When did hoods become a thing?

It used to be only something I saw in history books, mainly The Middle Ages. Then used in film/TV to indicate someone "out-of-time" or with something to hide. Maybe it's the Robin Hood connection, but now it seems to have been adopted as a indicator of groups of unrest and those who want to avoid indentification?

Then I started thinking about the rise of isolationsim. Nations starting to retreat inwards, distrusting "the other". How large swathes of populations now huddle around the digital fiefdoms of Facebook, Twitter, etc. Trusting "information" from only those sources, much like the Abbots and Barons of old.

Our media seems full of stories concerning survivalism, social breakdown, the "end times". It all smacks of that Medieval outlook we attribute to the Dark Ages.

Are we heading towards a 21st Century Middle Ages? Not one of us scrabbling in the mud, but adopting a closed mindset where science and learning are distrusted. Giving way to a more faith-based view, but not Christian or Muslim per se, that of "someone" is looking out for them.

Turns out there's quite a few papers and articles on this very thought: