Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Michael Bissell's Blog

Fact Free Zone

2011-02-28 14:03:58
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Without the Internet, I'd be a moron. Well, maybe not a moron, I do have some basic problem solving skills, but I don't memorize much and I realize that I don't really know much. I know enough to know what I need to find out, usually, but if you quizzed me on any given topic, you'd find the tips of my mental icebergs are riding in disturbingly shallow waters.

But despite the fact I can never remember how much flour to use in the vodka pie crust, I think memorization is overrated. Because facts change. Argue with me if you want, but facts are not constant, truth is subjective and the world changes faster than I can learn new things.

Why memorize when I have to constantly check facts that I thought I knew? It might be something simple like getting in the car and assuming there's gas in the tank because you filled it up yesterday. You drive a couple miles and run out of gas because A) you didn't check the gauge and B) you had no idea your teenager went for a LONG drive in the middle of the night.

So when I say that without the Internet I'd be a moron, I mean I'm much more likely to do stupid things without access to information. But what I often see are people who end up acting like morons not because they didn't have access to facts, but they just didn't feel like checking them out.

Of course, the problem is that we have so many facts we have to check now. We can't relax because we're keeping all our gadgets running with batteries, ink, subscription accounts, or whatever the thing is that ran out today. And those are the gadgets that are supposed to help us relax only we're more stressed by trying to keep track of the details to keep them working.

At some point, all these competing details drown each other out and we forget to do something and then we find ourselves walking four miles for gas, stranded with a dead cell phone, wearing the wrong shoes because we didn't know the weather was going to be so miserable, missing that huge event that we didn't actually print out the tickets for anyhow.

Facts are important. Balancing them in a way that your head doesn't explode... yeah. That's another fact I have to deal with now.

Walking to Surreality
Facebook did not topple Egypt

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