Lessons From Fahrenheit 451 – Facts Are Useless Without Context

Lessons From Fahrenheit 451 for the Modern Day | The Art of Manliness

““Cram them full of non-combustible data, chock them so damned full of ‘facts’ they feel stuffed, but absolutely ‘brilliant’ with information. Then they’ll feel they’re thinking, they’ll get a sense of motion without moving. And they’ll be happy….”

Our modern society has an obsession with acquiring information, most of it in the form of social media and internet articles. We think that reading about the news (in reality, often just the headlines of the news) and keeping up with what’s happening with our Facebook friends, makes us smart, informed citizens.

And to some degree it does. Surely, having some knowledge of mere facts is better than none. The problem, especially today, is that by simply watching the news or reading articles on the internet, you can hear very different facts about the exact same subject. It’s really hard to know who to trust, how to suss out what the truth is about a certain matter (if that’s even possible at all), and how to develop a truly informed opinion about something. Rather than putting in the hard work of doing those things, we simply hit the “Share” button …

As Bradbury writes above, when you’re chock-full of information, you feel satisfied and enormously “brilliant.” But are you really?”

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