Fernandez: Information Cancer

One of the most puzzling things about ordinary life is the question of where all lost ballpens and drug store sunglasses go. Some eventually turn up under the cushions of the sofa or reappear under the refrigerator. Yet when compared to the sheer numbers that are bought they are never enough; and it is hard not to think there does not really exist some mysterious dimension into which they disappear.

Those who imagine that we find eventually find each other’s lost  items should consider that we must come into the possession of the total number of objects aggregately purchased which would mean we would all be the proud possessors of about 135 ballpoint pens, 15 pairs of drugstore sunglasses and 17 baseball caps all of each other’s.

The same question can be asked of all the information we throw away. Where does it go?

Victor Davis Hanson has an piece in the National Review describing the systematic misplacement of what we know. Hanson argues that by a Borg-like process, the collective American brain was made to throw away whatever it knew about the Muslim Brotherhood, or the Jihad, or Nidal Hassan, and pretty well everything the Russians communicated to the security forces about the Boston Bombers.


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