Whole Earth Review

(Re: the battle of the crowd sizes.)

This mewing back and forth about whose crowd was larger is absurd. It’s as pointless as two bald men fighting over a comb.

Way back in 1985, before most of you were born, the excellent Whole Earth Review published an article called: “Digital Retouching: The End of Photography as Evidence of Anything.” (Cited below.) Digital photo processing was shiny new then. You couldn’t yet buy a digital camera. Photoshop did not yet exist.

Now it is 32 years later. Does anyone actually believe what they see in a photograph? Is there really anyone that naive? Apparently many, even though the majority of the photos you see on any given day are retouched.

This is a classic and seminal early example of technology overtaking reality; indeed, of creating reality.

Technology has rendered information and disinformation the same. This isn’t a post-factual world, it’s a multi-factual world.

For better or for worse, you get to choose…


[Brand, Stewart, Kevin Kelly, and Jay Kinney. 1985. Digital retouching: The end of photography as evidence of anything. Whole Earth Review, July, 42–49.]

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