Friday, June 04, 2004

William Gibson on Lies Exposed in Telltale Colors

Here's a link to a New York Times peice from last year written by William Gibson. I'm not sure if I'm remembering correctly, but I think the peice was part of a group of related articles where famous people were asked what they'd like to see technology make possible. Gibson's answer was that "some voodoo thing that unfailingly highlights [in a pieces of text] outright lies, spin and misperception - in different colors".

I've been meaning to post this for a while, and I was intending to add a few of my thoughts on this matter -- on making the accuracy of claims more apparent, but that's something I'll have to leave for later.

I'd set my Mac to show me the outright lies in Pistachio, the spin in sky-blue Bondi, and the misperceptions in succulent Plum. Large swaths of news would probably be Plum, both that written by journalists and some large percentage of politicians' quotes. Perhaps relatively few Pistachio highlights would appear in the actual reportage, indicating direct mendacity on the part of a journalist, though it would be interesting to find out just how few, or how many.