Dr. Seuss Never Said It – Truth Becoming Relative in Maker Culture

July 26, 2013 — 1 Comment

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The  Dr. Seuss quote on Goodreads is the first quotation on the  popular book-sharing site to  reach over 100,000 likes.

It is now the most popular quote on Goodreads.

This quote has eclipsed the musings of history’s most distinguished authors and thought-leaders  from Mark Twain to Socrates.

The Dr. Seuss quote  is the most appreciated quote on the world’s largest book sharing site with some 18 million subscribers.

The quote is this:  “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

It’s a lovely piece of writing.

Except, Dr. Seuss, (Ted Geisel)  never said it. The tag on the Goodreads quote indicated that it is “attributed” to Dr. Seuss with no source.

And yet in all of the author’s collective work or in all of his recorded public appearances, the quote can not be sourced.  This is a small thing, really, but it begs the deeper question of how does one find the truth when the traditional vetting grids of the past —  the network news and the Encyclopedia Britannica  have been replaced by a “maker culture” filled with  bloggers and Wikipedia.

Goodreads, like Wikipedia, has “volunteer” librarians (rather than wikis) who help  scour details in an attempt to keep the truth alive on these sites.  But it might be of value to have a true salaried staff to help safeguard some level of authenticity to sources such as Wikipedia and Goodreads, which, let’s face it, are becoming more and more relied on by every sector of culture.

We live in what economists call “creative destruction” where the old ways are falling to provide  space and growth for the new style of living. We all know that “facts” are not necessary the “truth” —but we come closer to a standard if there is focus and attention paid to value to reliability to detail.

For more classic quotes never said by legends from Gandhi to Seuss please check out the Quotesome Blog.

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