Friday, February 1
This morning I headed to Hanaholmen for the next seminar in the Talk is Silver series. I got there absurdly early but I sat in peace and caught up with some email, while drinking a fresh orange juice.
Today’s keynote speaker will have a lot of very interesting things to say, even if Matteo has a few Equally interesting things to say about them.
Michael D Rich serves as the chief executive of the Rand Corporation. He talked about his new report Truth Decay which offers “an initial exploration of the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life”.
I photograph Michael D. Rich in full flow as he presents us with a depressing set of statistics and conclusions, while reminding us of the need to remain optimistic.
The remainder of the day will seem far less interesting as the standard of the speakers and the information that they bring to the table will vary enormously.
Several times I will feel the need to ask questions or make comments; something I very rarely do at occasions like these. I will feel a need to answer the journalist Heidi Avellan, when she claimed that 46% of middle-aged men trusted the information they found on the web, while only 32% of teenagers trusted what they found. She will argue that this demonstrates that educational initiatives have already proved effective. I will counter that it may simply show that the two groups spend their time looking at different things.
If I spend all my time on the web looking at sites about the history of jazz, written by enthusiasts and scholars, I might well find that I believe 98% of what I read, and I might well prove completely accurate in this belief. This, by itself, will prove nothing at all. To mean something it will need context and interpretation, and that makes the process altogether more complex.
I will, unfortunately, get carried away with this argument, and the others that follow from it at regular intervals. I will get home an hour late than I promised.
Irma will have arrived home after visiting her sister, and wanting to talk about it. She will turn incandescent with rage and I will completely understand why. Her anger does not revolve around how late I arrived, but around the fact that I promised in the morning to get home for her, when she arrived, and I chose to do something else.
Sometimes I can place a different perspective on a situation. This time, I realise, I cannot and should not even attempt to find one.
I made a commitment and then forgot it. I fucked up, big time.