Knowledge

Reading List: Longitude and How We Know

Reading List: Longitude and How We Know

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We think KNOWING is so easy that we approach the unknowable with suspicion. Longitude by Dava Sobel and William J.H. Andrews is a worthwhile read if only to challenge the certainty of our suppositions. Modern precision is grounded in countless struggles with imprecision. Anyone who believes the modern world is a simple one should read Dava Sobel’s Longitude. Lucky for us, many of our modern luxuries make this historical puzzle of knowing your location an interesting story rather than a daily challenge. It’s as easy as an app on a smartphone, the right Google search string or clicking a city…

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Citizen’s Conundrum: Dirt, Data and Digging Out

Citizen’s Conundrum: Dirt, Data and Digging Out

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Now showing: “every utterance, every court filing, every public transaction, every burp, every miscue.” In an interesting read, Jack Shafer wonders about the state of our politics “now that we have dirt on everyone.” While some debate the power of the Internet to democratize even the most authoritarian regimes, we should consider its role in making our politics dirtier than ever. Shafer describes the shift by comparing a campaign’s opposition research to mining for gold: The past no longer matters to the political present the way it once did, because we have such better access to it today. Just 15…

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