October 18th, 2008


Oh, no! Someone's *wrong* at a convention!

So, last night I was in the audience for a panel on the "Generation Gap" in SF at CapClave. One of the offerings for why SF as a genre has an aging population was that, after all, there were a whole lot of changes in the 1890-1950 timeframe, but virtually none in the 1950-present range...

Leaving aside the overall merit (or lack thereof) of that argument, I was struck by something as the arguments flew around the room: one major change from just 15 years ago is that due to the wide availability of search engines and other online information it reflects much more poorly on people when they're wrong on easily checkable facts, now. I think I heard "But you can just look it up!" or some fragment of it several times in a single hour panel, and I noticed that people who said that (with one major exception, whose name I didn't catch) didn't keep arguing -- they just sat and looked disgruntled after that. Clearly they felt that they'd *won* their argument, and didn't really get why the conversation hadn't moved on.
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