Friday, December 17, 2010

How Google Killed God

When I was in Yeshiva all non-Jewish books were prohibited. There was a good reason to ban books, and in one yeshiva even hold an old fashioned book burning, books have information.

All day long, one Rabbi after another would teach and preach from a clear stream of knowledge. They taught history and literature and philosophy and art and math and science and logic. But it was all false, it was the logic of a lie. It was the history of legends and the literature of fables and the stream of knowledge was all flowing from the same source.

And when a child spends all day every day for year after year after year listening to their one version of events, those events become real, they become truth. The math of how to build an Ark or a tabernacle becomes the only math of value, the history of Passover and Hanukkah become the only true history. The wisdom of the sages becomes the only wisdom.

And then one day you read a book. Just an itty bitty thing. The book certainly didn't intend to be evil. And yet there it was, some disgusting perverse lie hidden among all those words. The letters spelling out some jumble of spew that shamelessly dares to contradict a well known fact that the Rabbis have taught for years.

Yes there was a grand reason to ban books, books have knowledge. And when you have been taught to think and stumble across a contradiction, you have a choice, follow the legends you've been force-fed or use your mind to decide which version of events makes more sense. Was it God who preformed a miracle or was it the mistakes of a 9 year old king which allowed the Jews to prevail. Did God punish the Jews or was it the mistake of a new 18 year old king who forced the hand of powerful nations to destroy Jerusalem. You have been taught to think, just not what to think about.

And now there is Google. And Wikipedia. And Bing. And Yahoo.

And the knowledge and information cannot be stopped.

And the Ortho-leaders try to ban the internet for the same reason the banned books. But the net is bigger and can't be contained in a room or pages or building or a fire.

So next time there is a feast or a fast, pop out your iphone and look it up; look it up from the other side's perspective. Look it up the way you would read a piece of gemara.

And enjoy what you find, because if you've been taught to think you will realize that Google killed God.

No comments: