Why People Should Read More

When I find myself feeling a little too good about life, the universe, and everything, I peek at the bottom half of the internet. The comments.

One gentleman on CNN’s site seemed very perturbed that the US government and media aren’t more concerned about the recent seizure of 90 pounds of Uranium compounds by ISIS terrorists in Iraq.


 What made this vaguely interesting to me was the realization that I already knew how this dude was wrong right off the top of my head:

  • The percentage of the explodey isotope of Uranium is tiny, so 90 lbs of pure Uranium (which isn’t what ISIS has) won’t turn into much weapons grade material.
  • ISIS is Sunni while Iran is Shia, so if anything they hate each other more than they hate ‘Murica. Iran probably won’t let ISIS borrow the centrifuges.

And I learned this stuff from a Tom Clancy novel, not school or the professional background in nuclear physics I don’t have. I wasn’t even trying to learn, I just still thought Jack Ryan was a believable character (I was young and stupid). 

Of course, the same novel posited that one could achieve peace in the Middle East between Muslims, Jews, and Christians by appealing to their religions and putting the Vatican in charge of Jerusalem. So not all the information will help you spot fools on the internet.

But still: Read more, look less dumb.




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