“The internet hasn’t been one globally connected thing in a long time.”
It was Newton who inadvertently killed off natural philosophy with his claim, in the third edition of his Principia, to have derived his law of gravitation from the phenomena by induction.Paradoxically, the first edition of Newton’s Principia (1687) was quite explicitly a great work of natural philosophy. There are, in the first edition, nine propositions all clearly labelled as ‘hypotheses’, some quite clearly of a metaphysical character.
Provided that older forms of knowledge are retained somewhere in our network, and can be found when we need them, perhaps they’re not really forgotten. Still, as time goes on, one generation gradually but unquestionably becomes a stranger to the next.