The problem with quotes

Still reading from How to Take Smart Notes:

As well, the mere copying of quotes almost always changes their meaning by stripping them of context, even though the words aren’t changed. This is a common beginner mistake, which can only lead to a patchwork of ideas, but never a coherent thought.

Digital tools make it really easy to copy quotes and share simplistic soundbites.

I’ve noticed a lot of raw material, quotes, rough data dropped into presentations and news” lately. I think this comes partially from a place of laziness — it’s easier than thinking, but also from a place of fear.

Our culture penalizes having an opinion, and being guilty of wrongthink can get you ostracized. That’s why it’s easier not to think, not to to synthesize quotes into something more meaningful. You can’t be accused of wrongthink if you’re not positing anything original.

This is also related to the idea of context collapse, which I’ve found increasingly useful to understand the modern world: technology removes experiences and information from the context in which we used to find them in. Not that I have some great solution, but a general heuristic is that things that allow for more context, greater elaboration, exploration, let you have opinions, and then change them, are more enjoyable places to be than the online world of collapsed contexts.