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Shorter David Brooks

October 26th, 2007 · 2 Comments

I want to share with you a penetrating insight about our relationship to media… in case you missed it when Marshall McLuhan had exactly the same insight 45 years ago.

Addendum: While I’m not wholly out of sympathy with Ezra’s paean to Google in reply to the column above, it’s worth saying that knowing how to find whatever information you need—as fantastic as our expanded ability to do that may be—is not all that great a substitute for just plain knowing stuff. Because (as Don Rumsfeld was fond of reminding us) you don’t know what you don’t know, and Google is useful primarily when you do what you’re looking for in the abstract. When, for instance, you don’t quite recall how that Oscar Wilde quote about authenticity as a pose went, or how the votes in the last election broke down by income, but you know that’s what you want to find. But if you want to make interesting and novel connections between ideas, you still need that stock of facts, stories, theories, and metaphors on hand and ready to be triggered when appropriate, even if you can afford to outsource the precise wording or the exact number to Google.

Tags: Tech and Tech Policy


       

 

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Dan // Oct 26, 2007 at 11:03 pm

    XKCD seems on point: http://xkcd.com/333/

  • 2 Richard // Oct 30, 2007 at 7:56 pm

    …in case you missed it when Marshall McLuhan had exactly the same insight 45 years ago.

    Not to mention Plato, nearly 2400 years ago.

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