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↤ Format Kindle But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past store ⇜ Ebook By Chuck Klosterman ∐ ↤ Format Kindle But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past store ⇜ Ebook By Chuck Klosterman ∐ This excerpt is from an advance uncorrected proof Copyright 2016 Chuck KlostermanIve spent most of my life being wrong.Not about everything Just about most things.I mean, sometimes I get stuff right I married the right person Ive never purchased life insurance as an investment The first time undrafted free agent Tony Romo led a touchdown drive against the Giants on Monday Night Football, I told my roommate, I think this guy will have a decent career At a New Years Eve party in 2008, I predicted Michael Jackson would unexpectedly die within the next twelve months, an anecdote I shall casually recount at every New Years party Ill ever attend for the rest of my life But these are the exceptions It is far, far easier for me to catalog the various things Ive been wrong about My insistence that I would never own a cell phone The time I wagered 100against 1that Barack Obama would never become president or even receive the Democratic nomination My threeweek obsession over the looming Y2K crisis, prompting me to hide bundles of cash, bottled water, and Oreo cookies throughout my one bedroom apartment At this point, my wrongness doesnt even surprise me I almost anticipate it Whenever people tell me Im wrong about something, I might disagree with them in conversation, butin my mindI assume their accusation is justified, even when Im relatively certain theyre wrong, too.Yet these failures are small potatoes.These micromoments of wrongness are personal I assumed the answer to something was A, but the true answer was B or C or D Reasonable parties can disagree on the unknowable, and the passage of time slowly proves one party to be slightly reasonable than the other The stakes are low If Im wrong about something specific, its usually my own fault, and someone else is usually, but not totally right.But what about the things were allwrong about What about ideas that are so accepted and internalized that were not even in a position to question their fallibility These are ideas so ingrained in the collective consciousness that it seems fool hardy to even wonder if theyre potentially untrue Sometimes these seem like questions only a child would ask, since children arent paralyzed by the pressures of consensus and common sense Its a dissonance that creates the most unavoidable of intellectual paradoxes When you ask smart people if they believe there are major ideas currently accepted by the culture at large that will eventually be proven false, they will say, Well, of course There must be That phenomenon has been experienced by every generation whos ever lived, since the dawn of human history Yet offer those same people a laundry list of contemporary ideas that might fit that description, and theyll be tempted to reject them all.It is impossible to examine questions we refuse to ask These are the big potatoes.Like most people, I like to think of myself as a skeptical person But Im pretty much in the tank for gravity Its the natural force most recognized as perfunctorily central to everything we under stand about everything else If an otherwise wellexecuted argument contradicts the principles of gravity, the argument is inevitably altered to make sure that it does not The fact that Im not a physicist makes my adherence to gravity especially unyielding, since I dont know anything about gravity that wasnt told to me by someone else My confidence in gravity is absolute, and I believe this will be true until the day I die and if someone subsequently throws my dead body out of a window, I believe my corpses rate of acceleration will be 9.8 m s2.And Im probably wrong.Maybe not completely, but partially And maybe not today, but eventually.There is a very, very good chance that our understanding of gravity will not be the same in five hundred years In fact, thats the one arena where I would think that most of our contemporary evidence is circumstantial, and that the way we think about gravity will be very different These are the words of Brian Greene, a theoretical physicist at Columbia University who writes books with titles like Icarus at the Edge of Time Hes the kind of physicist famous enough to guest star on a CBS sitcom, assuming that sit com is The Big Bang Theory For two hundred years, Isaac Newton had gravity down There was almost no change in our thinking until 1907 And then from 1907 to 1915, Einstein radically changes our understanding of gravity No longer is gravity just a force, but a warping of space and time And now we realize quantum mechanics must have an impact on how we describe gravity within very short distances So theres all this work that really starts to pick up in the 1980s, with all these new ideas about how gravity would work in the microscopic realm And then string theory comes along, trying to understand how gravity behaves on a small scale, and that gives us a descriptionwhich we dont know to be right or wrongthat equates to a quantum theory of gravity Now, that requires extra dimensions of space So the understanding of gravity starts to have radical implications for our understanding of reality And now there are folks, inspired by these findings, who are trying to rethink gravity itself They suspect gravity might not even be a fundamental force, but an emergent1 force So I do thinkand I think many would agreethat gravity is the least stable of our ideas, and the most ripe for a major shift.If that sounds confusing, dont worryI was confused when Greene explained it to me as I sat in his office 1 This means that gravity might just be a manifestation of other forcesnot a force itself, but the peripheral result of something else Greenes analogy was with the idea of temperature Our skin can sense warmth on a hot day, but warmth is not some independent thing that exists on its own Warmth is just the consequence of invisible atoms moving around very fast, creating the sensationof temperature We feel it, but its not really there So if gravity were an emergent force, it would mean that gravity isnt the central power pulling things to the Earth, but the tangential consequence of something else we cant yet explain We feel it, but its not there It would almost make the whole idea of gravity a semantic construction. and he explained it to me twice There are essential components to physics and math that I will never understand in any functional way, no matter what I read or how much time I invest A postgravity world is beyond my comprehension But the concept of a postgravity world helps me think about something else It helps me understand the pre gravity era And I dont mean the days before Newton published Principiain 1687, or even that period from the late 1500s when Galileo was allegedly dropping balls off the Leaning Tower of Pisa and inadvertently inspiring the Indigo Girls By the time those events occurred, the notion of gravity was already drifting through the scientific ether Nobody had pinned it down, but the mathematical intelligentsia knew Earth was rotating around the sun in an elliptical orbit and that somethingwas making this hap pen That was around three hundred years ago Im fixated on how life was another three hundred years before that Here was a period when the best understanding of why objects did not spontaneously f loat was some version of what Aristotle had argued than a thousand years prior He believed all objects craved their natural place, and that this place was the geocentric center of the universe, and that the geocentric center of the universe was Earth In other words, Aristotle believed that a dropped rock fell to the earth because rocks belonged on earth and wanted to be there.So lets consider the magnitude of this shift Aristotlearguably the greatest philosopher who ever livedwrites the book Physicsand defines his argument His view exists unchallenged for almost two thousand years Newton historys most meaningful mathematician, even to this day eventually watches an apocryphal apple fall from an apocryphal tree and inverts the entire human under standing of why the world works as it does Had this been explained to those people in the fourteenth century with no understanding of sciencein other words, pretty much everyone else alive in the fourteenth centuryNewtons explanation would have seemed way, way crazier than what they currently believed Instead of claiming that Earths existence defined reality and that there was something essentialist about why rocks acted like rocks, Newton was advocating an invisible, imperceptible force field that some how anchored the moon in place.We now know know that Newtons concept was correct Humankind had been collectively, objectivelywrong for roughly twenty centuries Which provokes three semirelated questions If mankind could believe something false was objectively true for two thousand years, why do we ref lexively assume that our current understanding of gravitywhich weve embraced for a mere three hundred fifty yearswill some how exist forever Is it possible that this type of problem has simply been solved What if Newtons answer really is or less the finalanswer, and the only one we will ever need Because if that is true, it would mean were at the end of a process that has defined the experience of being alive It would mean certain intellectual quests would no longer be necessary Which statement is reasonable to make I believe grav ity exists or Im 99.9 percent certain that gravity exists Certainly, the second statement is safer But if were going to acknowledge even the slightest possibility of being wrong about gravity, were pretty much giving up on the possibility of being right about anything at all.Theres a popular website that sells books and if you purchased this particular book, consumer research suggests theres a 41 per cent chance you ordered it from this particular site Book sales constitute only about 7 percent of this websites total sales, but books are the principal commodity this enterprise is known for Part of what makes the site successful is its usergenerated con tent consumers are given the opportunity to write reviews of their various purchases, even if they never actually consumed the book theyre critiquing Which is amazing, particularly if you want to read negative, onestar reviews of Herman Melvilles Moby Dick.Pompous, overbearing, selfindulgent, and insufferable This is the worst book Ive ever read, wrote one dissatisfied customer in 2014 Weak narrative, poor structure, incomplete plot threads, of the chapters are extraneous, and the author often confuses himself with the protagonist One chapter is devoted to the fact that whales dont have noses Another is on the color white Interestingly, the only other purchase this person elected to review was a HewlettPackard printer that can also send faxes, which he awarded two stars.I cant dispute this persons distaste for Moby Dick Im sure he did hate reading it But his choice to state this opinion in public almost entirely devoid of critical context, unless you count his take on the HP printeris meaningful than the opinion itself Publicly attacking Moby Dickis shorthand for arguing that what were socialized to believe about art is fundamentally questionable Taste is subjective, but some subjective opinions are casually expressed the same way we articulate principles of math or science There isnt an ongoing cultural debate over the merits of Moby Dick Its not merely an epic novel, but a transformative literary innovation that helps define how novels are supposed to be viewed Any discussion about the clichd concept of the Great American Novel begins with this book The work itself is not above criticism, but no individual criticism has any impact at this point, attacking Moby Dickonly reflects the contrarianism of the critic We all start from the supposition that Moby Dick is accepted as selfevidently awesome, including and perhaps especially those who disagree with that assertion.So how did this happen Melville publishes Moby Dickin 1851, basing his narrative on the reallife 1839 account of a murderous sperm whale nicknamed Mocha Dick The initial British edition is around nine hundred pages Melville, a moderately successful author at the time of the novels release, assumes this book will immediately be seen as a masterwork This is his premeditated intention throughout the writing process But the reviews are mixed, and some are contemptuous it repels the reader is the key takeaway from one of the very first reviews in the London Spectator It sells poorlyat the time of Melvilles death, total sales hover below five thousand copies The failure ruins Melvilles life He becomes an alcoholic and a poet, and eventually a customs inspector When he dies destitute in 1891, one has to assume his perspective on Moby Dickis some thing along the lines of Well, I guess that didnt work Maybe I should have spent fewer pages explaining how to tie complicated knots For the next thirty years, nothing about the reception of this book changes But then World War I happens, andsomehow, and for reasons that cant be totally explained2modernists living in postwar America start to view literature through a different lens There is a Melville revival The concept of what a novel is supposed to accomplish shifts in his direction and amplifies with each passing generation, eventually prompting people like the 2005 director of Columbia Universitys American studies pro gram to classify Moby Dickas the most ambitious book ever conceived by an American writer Pundits and cranks can disagree with that assertion, but no one cares if they do Melvilles place in history is secure, almost as if he were an explorer or an inventor When the prehistoric remains of a previously unknown predatory whale were discovered in Peru in 2010, the massive creature was eventually named Livyatan melvillei A century after his death, Melville gets his own extinct superwhale named after him, in tribute to a book that commercially tanked Thats an interesting kind of career.Now, theres certainly a difference between collective, objective wrongness e.g., misunderstanding gravity for twenty centuries and collective, subjective wrongness e.g., not caring about Moby Dickfor seventyfive years The machinations of the transitionsare completely different Yet both scenarios hint at a practical reality and a modern problem The practical reality is that any presenttense version of the world is unstable What we currently consider to be trueboth objectively and subjectivelyis habitually provisional But the modern problem is that reevaluating what we consider true is becoming increasingly difficult Superficially, its become easier for any one person to dispute the status quo Everyone has a viable platform to criticize Moby Dick or, I suppose, a mediocre HP printer If theres a rogue physicist in Winnipeg who doesnt believe in gravity, he can selfpublish a book that outlines his argument and potentially attract a larger audience than Principiafound during its first hundred years of existence But increasing the capacity for the reconsideration of ideas is not the same as actually changing those ideas or even allowingthem to change by their own momentum.We live in an age where virtually no content is lost and virtually all content is shared The sheer amount of information about every current idea makes those concepts difficult to contradict, particularly in a framework where public consensus has become the ultimate arbiter of validity In other words, were starting to behave as if weve reached the end of human knowledge And while that notion is undoubtedly false, the sensation of certitude it generates is paralyzing.In her book Being Wrong, author Kathryn Schulz spends a few key pages on the concept of nave realism Schulz notes that while there are few conscious proponents of nave realism, that doesnt mean there are no nave realists I would go a step further than Schulz I suspect most conventionally intelligent people are nave realists, and I think it might be the defining intellectual quality of this era The straightforward definition of nave realism doesnt seem that outlandish Its a theory that suggests the world is exactly as it appears Obviously, this viewpoint creates a lot of opportunity for colossal wrongness e.g., The sun appears to move across the sky, so the sun must be orbiting Earth But my personal characterization of nave realism is wider and insidious I think it operates as the manifestation of two ingrained beliefs When considering any question, I must be rational and logical, to the point of dismissing any unverifiable data as preposterous, and When considering any question, Im going to assume that the information we currently have is all the information that will ever be available.Heres an extreme example the possibility of life after death When considered rationally, there is no justification for believing that anything happens to anyone upon the moment of his or her death There is no reasonable counter to the prospect of nothing ness Any anecdotal story about floating toward a white light or Shirley MacLaines past life on Atlantis or the details in Heaven Is for Realare automatically and justifiably dismissed by any secular intellectual Yet this wholly logical position discounts the over whelming likelihood that we currently dont know something critical about the experience of life, much less the ultimate conclusion to that experience There are so many things we dont know about energy, or the way energy is transferred, or why energy which cant be created or destroyed exists at all We cant truly conceive the conditions of a multidimensional reality, even though were probably already living inside one We have a limited under standing of consciousness We have a limited understanding of time, and of the perception of time, and of the possibility that all time is happening at once So while it seems unrealistic to seriously 2 The qualities that spurred this rediscovery can, arguably, be quantified The isolation and brotherhood the sailors experience mirrors the experience of fight ing in a war, and the battle against a faceless evil whale could be seen as a metaphor for the battle against the faceless abstraction of evil Germany But the fact that these details can be quantified is still not a satisfactory explanation as to why Moby Dickbecame the specific novel that was selected and elevated Its not like Moby Dickis the only book that could have served this role.consider the prospect of life after death, it seems equally nave to assume that our contemporary understanding of this phenomenon is remotely complete We have no idea what we dont know, or what well eventually learn, or what might be true despite our perpetual inability to comprehend what that truth is.Its impossible to understand the world of today until today has become tomorrow.This is no brilliant insight, and only a fool would disagree But its remarkable how habitually this truth is ignored We constantly pretend our perception of the present day will not seem ludicrous in retrospect, simply because there doesnt appear to be any other option Yet there isanother option, and the option is this We must start from the premise thatin all likelihoodwe are already wrong And not wrong in the sense that we are examining questions and coming to incorrect conclusions, because most of our conclusions are reasoned and coherent The problem is with the questions themselves.Full of intelligence and insights, as the author gleefully turns ideas upside down to better understand them This book will become a popular book club selection because it makes readers think Replete with lots of nifty, whimsical footnotes, this clever, speculative book challenges our beliefs with jocularity and perspicacity Kirkus starred review Klostermanconducts a series of intriguing thought experiments in this delightful new bookKlostermans trademark humor and unique curiosity propel the reader through the book He remains one of the most insightful critics of pop culture writing today and this is his most thought provoking and memorable book yet Publishers Weekly starred review A spin class for the brain Klosterman challenges readers to reexamine the stability of basic concepts, and in doing so broadens our perspectives An engaging and entertaining workout for the mind led by one of todays funniest and most thought provoking writers Library Journal starred review Klosterman is a joy to hang out with He relishes the contradictions he examines while making complex ideas comprehensible In this new world, though, his voids of certainty arent just exhilarating, but ominous Ryan Vlastelica, A.V Club Favorite Books of 2016 But What If Were Wrong is a book about the big things were wrong about that dont get discussed, just because everyone assumes they can never happen Thats as true for culture as it is for science, and the uniquely intellectual and dexterous Klosterman dives in with verve Bonus points for interviews with some fascinatingand stubbornpeople in the process BloombergBest Books of 2016, recommended byIan Bremmer, President of Eurasia GroupKlosterman is outlining the ideology of a contrarian here and reminding us of the important role that revisionism plays in cultural writing What matters is the way he thinks about thinkingand the way he makes you think about how you think And, in the end, this is all that criticism can really hope to do.Sonny Bunch, The Washington Post Klostermans most wide ranging accomplishment to date As inquisitive, thoughtful and dryly funny as ever , But What If Were Wrong is crackling with the writers signature wit.Will Ashton, Pittsburgh Post Gazette In But What If Were Wrong Klosterman takes on the really big picture He ranges far and wide over the realm of known knowns and known unknowns.Brigitte Frase, Minneapolis Star Tribune I have often wondered how the times I live in will be remembered once they turn into History It never occurred to me to figure out how to write a book about it, though, which is one of the reasons why Chuck Klosterman is smarter than I am.Aimee Levitt, The Chicago ReaderKlosterman has proven himself an insightful and evolving philosopher for popular consumption In his latest, But What If Were Wrong , Klosterman probes the very notions of existence and longevity, resulting perhaps in the most mind expanding writing of his career.Max Kyburz, Gothamist Chuck Klosterman is no time traveler, but he s got a lot of ideas about how the future will shake out in But What If Were Wrong he ponders the limits of humanitys search for truth.Chris Weller, Tech Insider Prolific pop culture critic Chuck Klosterman tackles his most ambitious project yet in new book But What If Were Wrong , which combines research, personal reflections and interviews.Alexandra Cavallo, The Improper BostonianThis book is brilliant and addictively readable It s also mandatory reading for anyone who loves history and for anyone who claims to have a capacity for forecasting It ll probably make them angry because it turns so many sacred assumptions upside downbut that s what the future does Klosterman s writing style is direct, highly personal and robotically crisphe s like a stranger on the seat next to you on a plane who gives you a billion dollar idea A terrific book Douglas Coupland Intelligent Finance Savings, Cash ISAs Direct Access Intelligent is a division of Bank Scotland plc Registered in number SC office The Mound, Edinburgh, EH YZ, United Kingdom ConnectEarth This Earth Hour, on March , join millions around the world to switch off and share why nature important our lives Let s speak up ConnectEarth Buildertrend Login forgot your password Mobile App Be sure download app all devices The Constitution Amendments National Archives Constitutional make what known as Bill Rights are listed below Passed by Congress Ratified February Note Article III, section was modified amendment Judicial power States shall Success Stories Curaderm BEC Eggplant Extract cream i had an eraser sized basal carcinoma for several years thought cured it with lugols iodine but came back knew didnt want have surgically cut out due scarring this done different previous BCC read about suzanne somers book natural cures cancer did online research weeks deciding try wanted Gender pay gap has narrowed, changed little past decade gender narrowed since remained relatively stable over or so In women earned % men earned, according Pew Research Center analysis median hourly earnings both full part time workers Based We X Rayed Some MLB Baseballs Here What We Found On occasions last season, major leaguer walked plate hammered baseball outfield wall season broke home run record that set peak Fuel Jeremy Chin Books Fuel FREE shipping qualifying offers love story two amazingly talented runners who embark dream do impossible break marathon their maiden race Take eye opening journey them How Banks Could Control Gun Sales if Washington Won t Feb country financial giants hold sway gun industry than any politician If banks credit card companies were stop doing business Chuck Klosterman Chuck Klosterman New York Times bestselling author cultural critic sorts through decade how we got nowChuck created incomparable body work books, magazines, newspapers, Official Publisher Page Simon Schuster many books nonfiction including Sex, Drugs, Cocoa Puffs, I Wear Black Hat, Fargo Rock City novels Downtown Owl Visible ManHe written Times, Post, GQ, Esquire, Spin, Guardian, Believer, Billboard, AV Club, ESPN featured columnist contributor Magazine, also CKlosterman Twitter latest Tweets from m committee, here my argument Notre Dame idle falls not criticism Georgia losing performance still warrants elevation seed Best possible playoff scenario, most accurate overall talent assessment Great Articles Electric Typewriter articles essays best journalists writers Author Puffs Charles John American pop culture journalist, critic, humorist, essayist He raised farm near Wyndmere, North Dakota graduated University Home Facebook K likes official Facebook page Klosterman, maintained his publisher, Penguin Press Postings chuckklosterman Instagram photos videos Followers, Following, Posts See videos chuckklosterman IMDb Producer Man born June Breckenridge, Minnesota, USA actor writer, Man, Documentary Now Audiobook Michael Ian Black, Dec Contains explicit content wildly popular music mega hits Drugs Puffs A Low Culture Manifesto Ep But re Wrong can tell you secret selling half million Or anything Every day, changes, shifts its axis skin peels bit Bio, news GQ eight recently Hat Grappling Villains Real Imagined Esquire think program taught me human interaction Highly Specific, Defiantly Incomplete History Early st Century now Contributors Grantland contributing editor at Grantland Quotes quotes Art same thing It process seeing yourself things Life rarely happened mostly potential fall thousand times lifetime easy first girl ever loved someone sixth grade About But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past

 

    • But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past
    • 4.4
    • 657
    • Format Kindle
    • 0399184120
    • Chuck Klosterman
    • Anglais
    • 11 July 2017

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