Thursday, March 17, 2016
"Facts" have been under attack for awhile now and it's getting more relentless every day. Some of it is motivated by evil intention: "If you tell a lie long enough . . .". Some of it comes from the allure of relativity: "my observation creates reality." It's getting to the point where I cling to 2+2 = 4 like Tom Cruise hangs on to the edge of the skyscraper.
The Internet of Us is a new book by Michael Lynch which gets into other ways to topple the facts. He takes us into a world where we "rarely discover facts, we download or upload them". (I love it when my companion whips out a smartphone to settle a question. ) Lynch considers that we may actually google ourselves out of our capacity to reason.
Every once in awhile I make myself do the multiplication tables in my head. Up to 10. The rest of the time? Of course, it's the calculator.