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 We 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 unco

  • Title: But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past
  • Author: Chuck Klosterman Fiona Hardingham
  • ISBN: 9780451484871
  • Page: 133
  • Format: Audio CD
  • We 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 IWe 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 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 who ll 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 D az, 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 From the Hardcover edition.

    • But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past BY Chuck Klosterman Fiona Hardingham
      133 Chuck Klosterman Fiona Hardingham
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      Posted by:Chuck Klosterman Fiona Hardingham
      Published :2019-07-17T09:18:48+00:00

    About "Chuck Klosterman Fiona Hardingham"

    1. Chuck Klosterman Fiona Hardingham

      Charles John Chuck Klosterman is an American pop culture journalist, critic, humorist, and essayist He was raised on a farm near Wyndmere, North Dakota and graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1994 After college he was a journalist in Fargo, North Dakota and later an arts critic for the Akron Beacon Journal in Akron, Ohio, before moving to New York City in 2002.


    1. As the opening chapter questions whether we could be wrong about the existence of gravity, I thought this would be a book about philosophy and the nature of existence. Of course, I should have looked closely at the author's name - Chuck Klosterman writes about the arts and pop culture, so rather than questioning the nature of existence, mostly this book questions our value judgements on the arts and pop culture. The chapter on books asks just how wrong we can be about who will be the voice of th [...]

    2. Excuse me. I just have to go pat myself on the back for ninety minutes for having read nonfiction voluntarily. My brain is bigger than yours, and I am the greatest person alive. I don’t run, so I don’t know what a runner’s high feels like and I never will and I never want to, but I imagine it’s a lot like finishing a nonfiction book you read without anyone making you. Because, like, wow. I feel like I just won a MacArthur grant, or discovered a new law of physics, or something.Despite th [...]

    3. 3.5-4 starsI loved this book up until about half way through. It was covering topics like string theory, the multiverse, and our understanding of gravity. One of my favorites- "As a species, the concept of infinity might be too much for us. I suspect the human conception of infinity is akin to a dog's conception of a clock". -love this!Discussions with Tyson and Greene-Aristotle and Galileo make appearances throughout-I also loved the chapter on history- with Klosterman's saying, "history is def [...]

    4. Don't go into this book if you really expect to learn something or encounter firm opinions from Chuck Klosterman (except, of course, his wholly incorrect view on the movie Independence Day). I thought I might hate this book going by the first chapter, which seemed to talk in circles about doubt and certainty. Fortunately, subsequent sections are arranged around different themes, and the focus does Klosterman a world of good. Nobody wants to read nearly 300 pages of that annoying devil's advocate [...]

    5. This was my first Klosterman book and my first nonfiction book in a minute as the kids say. I really liked most of the book. It's pretty abstract, there aren't any answers to the questions he's asking since we can't see into the future, but I enjoyed the discussion and trying to gaze into the crystal ball. The premise of the book is trying to look at the present as if it were the past, basically putting ourselves into a time machine and looking back at our current times from a variety of angles. [...]

    6. In his latest book, Chuck Klosterman takes a look at the present as if it were the distant past, posing some interesting thought experiments: what will people think of the early 21st century in 500 years’ time? Will rock music still be popular and who will be remembered as the epitome of the genre? Will team sports like football still be popular? Who will be remembered as the most significant writer of this time? Has science reached an impasse or are we about to discover a major new bountiful [...]

    7. I really want to give this more stars, I should have liked it- but, ugh. Yes, I'm sure lots of the things we now believe about reality may one day be proven wrong, but so what? How does that effect our lives? Well, as the author states it doesn't because most people don't care. The shepherd in 1500 A.D. who was suddenly told the earth went around the sun and not vice versa, was shocked and then went back to his sheep. We're just the same, centuries from now when we finally unlock the secrets of [...]

    8. I don't always read non-SF/F but when I do, I like to make sure it's the kind of non-fiction that makes me incredibly annoying at parties. God, you should have seen me the year I read Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink", I could hammer the thought-candy from that book into any conversation about anything at all. Gladwell's premise is that throughout history we have been completely wrong abouteverythingSO, what things that we accept as completely true now, will we look back on in 500 years and laugh at?He [...]

    9. This was a fun book. I received an ARC in exchange for my review, and I have to say that I would strongly recommend this to anyone who loves to ask "What if?" This is one of those books you just can't take seriously at all, but if you're willing to follow the author down the hypothetical scenario rabbit hole, it's quite amusing. You will ponder who the next Kafka will be, whether the Beatles will still be historically important in the far future, whether there is another version of you (or multi [...]

    10. Best thing I've read this year.The premise is pretty simple. Basically, Klosterman spends most of a bookt PROVING that we're wrong about just about everything, but asking questions that make us think, "If I step outside myself for a second, I COULD be wrong."You'd be amazed the places he goes with this. He starts with fucking gravity! STARTS with. Not proving that gravity is nonexistent as we experience it, but that it may be an emergent force, which is a force that results from other things and [...]

    11. You may expect this book to be filled with doubt (and it is), but even more so, it advocates humility.In But What If We're Wrong?, Chuck Klosterman jumps from topic to topic, questioning some of the opinions that society has more or less reached consensus on. Some of these are objective (our understanding of gravity), and some are subjective (who will be considered the greatest writer of the 21th century?), but it's interesting to think about "Opinion" in the macro sense of what society believes [...]

    12. Every time I read an essay by Chuck Klosterman -- and, given my interest in music and pop culture, I've read a number of them -- I'm struck by his self-deprecating tone. It's the written equivalent of throat clearing and foot shuffling: parenthetical asides, wryly humorous footnotes, run-on digressions from his central point. It can be charming.But in small doses, and in the right context. In "But What If We're Wrong?" it becomes, frankly, annoying.The book's conceit is a good one: What will mat [...]

    13. I usually love reading Klosterman, but this book was difficult to get through and on the whole not enjoyable unfortunately. It's fun to listen to him on Bill Simmons' podcast present unorthodox views on sports or cultural events, and his celebrity profiles are always fresh and have a distinct slant to them. But I felt his writing style, which was unnecessarily convoluted at times, wasn't a great fit for this subject matter. High brow writing about low brow topics is where he seems to excel. It f [...]

    14. This is a terribly interesting book. Klosterman speculates about what in our present lives will still have significance in the far future and how it will be perceived. It's a book about perspectives and also a book of criticism. He devotes time to questions about which books of our time will still be read 200 or 300 yearss from now, what songs and artists will be perceived as epitomizing our age. What is the future of sports? What is the future of American democracy? Are we at the end of science [...]

    15. A book-long pointless intellectual exercise, but a really fun and interesting one. This is my favorite Klosterman in a while: it's both more serious and thoughtful, and funnier, than his last few efforts. If you'd like the experience of a truly excellent semi-sober dinner conversation with a smart, surprising companion but in book form, well -- here it is!

    16. The premise: what if we're wrong about what we know "for sure" now, and how will we see our past selves in the future? Klosterman discusses (and dissects) the concepts of gravity, the NFL, TV, art, and democracy, among others. This book is well-researched and well-writtend I hated every minute of it. Klosterman comes across as self-important and arrogant. He makes his pointd then continues to explain it for another 30 pages. It's honest-to-God mental masturbation at its finest. I finally started [...]

    17. There's a subset of readers who will adore Chuck Klosterman's most recent book, But What if We're Wrong?, and a second (likely larger) subset who will view it as frustrating and pointless intellectual masturbation. I'm firmly in the first camp, and not just because my job demands I have a high tolerance for frustrating and pointless intellectual masturbation. I've been a fan of Klosterman's for years, mainly because he speaks my middle-aged pop-culture-obsessed nerd lingo. And while that side of [...]

    18. The questions that obsess Klosterman are not ones that keep me up at night. A few years ago I tried to read Kathryn Schulz's Being Wrong and I hadn't been compelled to finish. But this was a lot of fun to read, and it required a lot of thinking (I claim to enjoy that, but sometimes this made my head hurt. Don't know if it was the thoughts or CK's meandering writing style.) He's sort of conducting Gedankenexperments, so I thought of those terms like "backcasting" and "hindcasting", but I don't kn [...]

    19. This is my new favorite book. There are so many chapters that would work perfectly as introductory texts to so many disciplines (history, philosophy, science, philosophy of science, philosophy of history). I want everyone I know to read this book so we can talk about it. That is all.

    20. From the title and the blurb I expected this book would address basic assumptions that we, as a culture, seldom question but which are not necessarily true. It doesn't do that. Although there is a little about science and some philosophical underpinnings of the U.S. Constitution, most of the book looks at pop culture—fiction, TV, music, and sports—and asks if the assessments of contemporary critics will reflect how people of the future judge these things.My initial reaction was something lik [...]

    21. If you're the type of person who gets annoyed at conversations that seem unsolvable (i.e. "What if the color red I see isn't the color red you see?"), then do not read this book. However, if you're fascinated by these philosophical quandaries (Neil deGrasse Tyson calls them "beer conversations" in the book), then this book is for you. I love his overriding concept of trying to figure out how to today will be judged by tomorrow. At first I was worried that it might veer into "pot conversation" te [...]

    22. Before we can argue that something we currently appreciate deserves inclusion in the world of tomorrow, we must build that future world within our mind. This is not easy (even with drugs). But it's not even the hardest part. The hardest part is accepting that we're building something with parts that don't yet exist.Reading But What If We're Wrong? Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past is like being a fly on the wall of Chuck Klosterman's pot-filled dormroom, listening in as he meande [...]

    23. Upon finishing this book (which admittedly took me longer than I Wear the Black Hat), I laughed to myself. Boy, wouldn't getting Klosterman in a room with Stephen Kern be interesting? In this book, Klosterman asks: "But what about the things we're all wrong about?" Klosterman asks us to consider what about our current present thinking may be possibly, completely, and utterly wrong, as all pre-1600 peoples were prior to empiricism, mathematization, etc - i.e. the scientific revolution. The great [...]

    24. I found Klosterman’s ‘But What If We’re Wrong’ thought-provoking and unsatisfying in roughly equal measure. I haven’t read anything by him before and came across this book… somewhere. It’s another one that I can’t for the life of my remember how it ended up on my to-read list. The premise was obviously intriguing: what if we thought about the present as we do the past? This is broken down over a number of themes and tangents, including discussion of how likely rock music and team [...]

    25. This book is a collection of essays and arguments revolving around a central theme--looking into the past with eyes colored by the present. Klosterman presents arguments ranging from future cultural popularity (who will define rock music--The Sex Pistols? Bob Dylan? Chuck Berry?) to scientific theories (will our theory of gravity seem as preposterous to future humans as the geocentric model of the universe seems to us?).Klosterman's meditations kindled memories of a Shakespeare seminar I took in [...]

    26. I have loved the writing and thinking of Chuck Klosterman since he was the ethicist for the New York Times. He is brilliant without being abstruse, a perfect delight to read. This book is no exception. His basic premise is certainly not in dispute. Anyone who has looked back at his high school year book knows that certainties are only temporary. A superficial look back at history reveals a parade of establishment truths that have not survived the clinical examination of the modern scientific pro [...]

    27. This is a wonderfully refreshing idea for a book: how will the present look from the future? What will we think about the way we looked at sports and democracy and rock music? It's, of course, almost impossible to really imagine how things will look as we gaze back at the past from the future. It's intriguing to contemplate. Klosterman consults lots of his favorite armchair philosophers about these questions and the result is this little book. Why, then, the average rating, you ask? I wish the b [...]

    28. I enjoyed the mental gymnastic and general brain trippiness of this book which looks at the present and all the things we take for granted as universally true through the lens of time and asksIn the future will we still feel the same about this as we do now, and what if a great many of the things we accept as fundamentally true at this time are looked back on as fundamentally wrong by the future. After all, every generation has felt like they have known 'the truth', but every future generation l [...]

    29. 4.5 starsEvery Klosterman book is entertaining, and I immensely enjoyed "But What if We're Wrong", which--rather than the more musical-based Pop-culture themes of his previous non-fiction works--focuses on the philosophical nature of right vs. wrong, how our current age will be thought of when it's "history", and how (nearly) impossible it is to predict how "today" will be seen once today is tomorrow.

    30. I hope that I find a copy to read, and that there is more about science (gravity is mentioned) than pop culture. After all, the title uses the word "wrong" and how can we be "wrong" about an opinion such as The Greatest Rock Band? unless, maybe Klosterman will actually be discussing "The Rock Band that is Most Memorialized" or something measurable like that .

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