XKCD’s “What If?” Is The Best Bathroom Book You’ll Ever Buy (Newsweek, Sept. 1, 2014)

what-if-randall-munroeThe Internet is history’s greatest repository of minutiae, and its greatest generator.

And that information is proliferating, mostly in the form of facts, both grand and trivial. The Twittersphere is awash with the stuff, with UberFact leading the way, spitting out to its 7.18 million followers such treasures as, “There are enough diamonds in existence to give everyone on the planet a cupful.”

The problem, as Newsweek’s Alex Nazaryan recently noted, is that many of these “facts” are such in name only. Earlier this year, Gizmodo writer Matt Novak checked 64 UberFacts — one full day’s worth — for veracity. They scored a 59%, easily a failing grade. This, as Nazaryan points out, is characteristic of the Internet’s locust like storm of knowledge-providers that “assert first, ask later” and rarely, if at all, provide a modicum of insight.

Randall Munroe might be the antidote. Or, at the very least, an appealing salve.

Read the rest at Newsweek: http://www.newsweek.com/xkcds-what-if-best-bathroom-book-youll-ever-buy-267663

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