Bjørn Vassnes – Sokrates & Sjøpungen (2011)
It’s ironic how little actual knowledge there is to find in this book about how nobody in Norway values knowledge any more. It’s as if Vassnes just quickly wrote down all the opinions he has about knowledge, scattering facts inbetween, but never pausing to focus on any single topic. So we jump from Norway’s PISA scores to academics who don’t like evolutionary psychology to “oh you can’t trust the newspaper these days” to how the infrastructure is failing to how the climate may collapse and kill us all – sometimes from one paragraph to the next. I probably agree with his overall message, I just can’t figure out what specifically he is trying to say most of the time. I’ve littered the margins with “Uhh…?” Which is short for: “Ah yes, this is an interesting claim, I can’t wait to see how you intend to support it – no, wait, don’t move on, not again! Please stand still for just one moment! Nooooo..” And then we’re off to how Christianity created the Dark Ages, and then to how Cloud Computing and China aren’t all that, and ..
Read: 44 pages.
Recommended: No. This may be the right book for somebody, for instance people who doen’t already agree that knowledge is important, but are easily convinced by unfocused polemics. To me it feels like a desert full of mirages. I can tell that there is something interesting going on over the horizon, but I have a growing suspicion that this book will never take me there.