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

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Penguin, Jun 7, 2016 - Social Science - 288 pages
New York Times bestselling author 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?

Klosterman visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who'll perceive it as the distant past. 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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User Review  - unclebob53703 - LibraryThing

A peculiar mix of honest skepticism and open-mindedness, mixed with some utterly bat shit "theories" (the universe is actually a computer simulation concocted by some far future teenage in his garage ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nbmars - LibraryThing

Chances are good that when people look back at the early 21st century 150 years from now their perceptions and characterizations of the present time will be quite different from our own. But it is ... Read full review

Contents

A Brief Examination as to Why This Book Is Hopeless
13
But Thats the Way I Like It Baby I Dont Want to Live Forever
61
Merit
89
The World That Is Not There
133
Dont Tell Me What Happens Im Recording It
159
Sudden Death Over Time
177
The Case Against Freedom
195
But What If Were Right?
223
Only the Penitent Man Shall Pass
237
Acknowledgments
263
Copyright

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About the author (2016)

Chuck Klosterman is the bestselling author of seven books of nonfiction (including Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs and I Wear the Black Hat) and two novels (Downtown Owl and The Visible Man). He has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ, Esquire, Spin, The Guardian, The Believer, Billboard, The A.V. Club, and ESPN. Klosterman served as the Ethicist for The New York Times Magazine for three years, appeared as himself in the LCD Soundsystem documentary Shut Up and Play the Hits, and was an original founder of the website Grantland with Bill Simmons.

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