Authority is not truth

Stephen Downes already linked to it, so this may be irrelevant, nonetheless if you missed Mike Caulfield’s post about Monica Hesse’s article in the Washington Post, be sure to check it out, it is awesome. Without question one of the best deconstructions I have yet to read of how the traditional nodes (or is it modes?) of authority attack all kinds of web-based information as amateur and unreliable which often leads to a conflating of their established positions of authority with truth. His analysis and research centers around a quote in Monica Hesse’s article from Abraham Lincoln, “Calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg,” that establishes the conceit of her critique of the current state of online research and amateur culture. His precise “unraveling” of this argument is awesome.

Authority isn’t truth, and this reading offers a phenomenal example of how all too often those self-appointed defenders of “truth” are the one’s we should be worried about. Behind their righteous vision of reality there lies motives for power and control. Boy is it nice to have Mike back on the blog feeding gems like this to his fellow amateurs.

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4 Responses to Authority is not truth

  1. Thanks Jim!

    It’s good to be back, too. I’ve got a slew (sp?) of Online Comm sorts of projects, and a lot less contact with Academic Tech than I used too — but life just wasn’t as fun when I wasn’t hanging out with you guys — plus I plan to get back to it professionally as soon as I can.

    I see you just tagged the Blogs @ UMASS directory — pretty awesome, eh? We should get those guys into the circle….

  2. Reverend says:

    Hey Mike,

    It is certainly fun to have you back, that post was a doozy. I have been meaning to contact the folks at UMass about that directory, I really do like it, and i just don’t have the time or chops at the moment to do it. Perhaps I’ll write a begging e-mail this evening.

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