Erik Larson

Nov 30, 2008

Magazines

None, right now. I did purchase a Wired a while back, but in a section titled “Here are three things we got wrong, 1993-2008”, they cited Fukuyama’s The End of History. Among the more bone-headed claims I’ve seen in print lately, this gem stands out:

Francis Fukuyama proclaimed that history ended with the demise of the Soviet Union. The future would be characterized not by the literal but only the figurative war of ideas. We believed him.

We were wrong. Wired failed to see how a new generation of fanatical geeks would use the Internet in their effort to take over the world. Instead of ending, history looped back on itself, and we are now confronted by a recrudescent and particularly virulent religious ideology straight out of the Middle Ages.

We recognized a world in transition, but we missed the danger in front of us. We eschewed conventional wisdom, but we couldn’t escape it. Takeaway: Be contrarian, and then be contrarian again.

Yes, that’s the takeaway, you shiny paged, over glamorized pseudo-intellectual gee whiz nitwits. That’s precisely not what Fukuyama said. I’m sure he’s philosophical about getting misrepresented in the popular like-to-seem-smart media. If I were him I’d laugh or cry, but kindly suggest to the editor of Wired that they stick to GPS enabled toilet paper, laser sighted lipstick, and whatever other techy auto-erotica adorn the pages of this unfortunate ‘zine.