I’ve noticed that, as we ramp up on our game-building skills and generalized knowledge about Ronald [MacDonald], we’re googling every ten seconds. The problem is, after a week of intense googling, we’ve started to burn out on knowing the answer to everything. God must feel that way all the time. I think people in the year 2020 are going to be nostalgic for the sensation of feeling clueless.
– From Douglas Coupland’s 2006 novel JPod
I read this when it came out, but recently picked it up off the bookshelf where it was left by friends in the house we’re living in in Gent.
I was struck both by the prescience of this insight and how Coupland actually is a bit behind the curve. I feel like the nostalgia for unanswered questions (or a fatigue of relative omniscience?) has already been with us for a few years.
Now, still two years in advance of 2020, knowledge and fact are so cheap our problem is with how many of us have decided they are worthless—a far less blissful ignorance.