But What If Were Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past by Chuck KlostermanWe live in a culture of casual certitude. This has always been the case, no matter how often that certainty has failed. Though no generation believes there’s nothing left to learn, every generation unconsciously assumes that what has already been defined and accepted is (probably) pretty close to how reality will be viewed in perpetuity. And then, of course, time passes. Ideas shift. Opinions invert. What once seemed reasonable eventually becomes absurd, replaced by modern perspectives that feel even more irrefutable and secure—until, of course, they don’t.
But What If We’re Wrong? visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those wholl perceive it as the distant past. Chuck Klosterman asks questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time? What will be the defining memory of rock music, five hundred years from today? How seriously should we view the content of our dreams? How seriously should we view the content of television? Are all sports destined for extinction? Is it possible that the greatest artist of our era is currently unknown (or—weirder still—widely known, but entirely disrespected)? Is it possible that we “overrate” democracy? And perhaps most disturbing, is it possible that we’ve reached the end of knowledge?
Kinetically slingshotting through a broad spectrum of objective and subjective problems, But What If We’re Wrong? is built on interviews with a variety of creative thinkers—George Saunders, David Byrne, Jonathan Lethem, Kathryn Schulz, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Brian Greene, Junot Díaz, Amanda Petrusich, Ryan Adams, Nick Bostrom, Dan Carlin, and Richard Linklater, among others—interwoven with the type of high-wire humor and nontraditional analysis only Klosterman would dare to attempt. It’s a seemingly impossible achievement: a book about the things we cannot know, explained as if we did. It’s about how we live now, once “now” has become “then.”
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Look Inside. Jun 07, Minutes Buy. Apr 25, ISBN Jun 07, ISBN Jun 07, Minutes. The tremendously well-received New York Times bestseller by cultural critic Chuck Klosterman, exploring the possibility that our currently held beliefs and assumptions about the world will eventually be proven wrong — now in paperback. Covering a spectrum of objective and subjective topics, the book attempts to visualize present-day society the way it will be viewed in a distant future.
Blue Rider Press. The premise of this book can be succinctly stated: Most of what we believe is likely to be wrong. That is, of course, a familiar thought. It is easy to envisage our most cherished certainties appearing ridiculous or worse to future generations, just as the cherished certainties of our ancestors appear ridiculous or worse to us. And it should be a disturbing thought.
Aristotle had his run as the smartest man on the planet, but he got disproved by Galileo, who was trumped by Newton, until Einstein ruled the roost. And while there have been some hints of "proving Einstein wrong," nothing has really stuck. But even so, scientific "fact" is a fact only until it's proved wrong. In his book, Klosterman tries to imagine the world today viewed from the vantage point of a distant future, and attempts to suss out what humans might have gotten wrong. Klosterman asks if our belief in democracy might lead to the failure of society, and speculates as to which writer who isn't even born yet is going to be as important as Hemingway, Melville or Kafka. Klosterman's strong suits are writing about rock music and contemporary culture. But, yes, there's science here, specifically the importance of embracing your potential wrongness, and how humanity might all be fictional creatures stuck in an advanced video game.