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But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past

KlostermanIf you had asked Aristotle why a rock thrown into a pond sinks to the bottom, he would have said it’s because the rock wants to get back to its rightful place below the water. This notion was the prevailing wisdom for some 2,000 years until Isaac Newton came along with his theory of gravity and proved that it wasn’t the case. Is it possible that in another 2,000 years our understanding of gravity will be similarly upended? In his latest book, Chuck Klosterman asserts that it’s not only possible, but probable. Unless of course, it isn’t. Confused yet?

Klosterman tries to imagine what future generations will think of paragons of modern life. What will people 20, 100, or 1,000 years from now think (or know) about rock music, football, the Constitution, or the very fabric of the universe? It’s almost impossible to even make such predictions. The paradigm shifts that change our perception are so monumental our present-day brains can’t even comprehend them. (This view is nothing new, it should be noted.) But that doesn’t keep Klosterman from trying to predict the future. He probes these questions in an irreverent, funny, and thought-provoking manner. Interviews with Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Byrne, Junot Díaz, Richard Linklater, and many, many more round out the text.

Klosterman began the notable part of his writing career as a music critic. His earlier books focused on highbrow examinations of lowbrow culture, but his following works took a more philosophical turn. But What If We’re Wrong? is his most brain-bending book to date. I predict it will keep creative, open minds from turning into mush over the summer. 

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