The Man Who Photographed Ghosts

This review of a book about early photography offers some thoughtful reflections on how technology has been frequently used to distort the truth rather than reveal it.

It’s a quote — I’d never seen it before — from Franz Kafka: “Nothing can be so deceiving as a photograph.” It immediately caught my interest because it captures something that I already believe: that photography is inextricably connected with lying. How could it be otherwise?… Where are the verbs, the adjectives, the nouns in a photograph? They’re nowhere to be found. That alone has led me to assert that photographs have no truth value. They can’t be true, false or anything in between, whatever that might be. However, stick a sentence next to a photograph and you have a potent missile more powerful than anything dreamed up by either Donald Trump or Kim Jong-un. —The New York Times