By WhskyJack, a Trail Mix Conributor
Barry Ritholtz in his Bloomberg column has a good discussion of the uses and impact of Agnotology. (Agnotology: Culturally constructed ignorance, purposefully created by special interest groups working hard to create confusion and suppress the truth)
He lists a number of examples from Global warming deniers to antivaxers. It also occurred to me that HRC was also a victim. It is why many of her supporters look at those who attack her as if they have a third eye in their forehead.
It is HRC’s biggest problem and how you combat it is beyond me. Facts and reason don’t seem to work.
As Barry’s summation points out facts and truth are important for a Democracy to make good choices. When they are thrown out the window maybe we are screwed.
I’m not sure how to approach this but I will start with these quotes:
“Maybe we can persuade people to change their minds by marshaling facts and making arguments to rebut negative attacks. But that doesn’t work for everyone. You can’t just talk someone into trusting you. You’ve got to earn it. So, yes, I could say that I sometimes sound careful with my words is not because I’m hiding something it’s just that I’m careful with my words. I believe what you say actually matters. I think that’s true life, and that’s especially true if you’re president.” — Hillary Clinton in a speech given June 27th 2016
“Thirdly and perhaps most significantly, we now live in a post-factual democracy. When the facts met the myths they were as useless as bullets bouncing off the bodies of aliens in a HG Wells novel.” — Nicholas Barrett, a young British millennial reacting to the insane Brexit vote.
“Fed up millennials speak out,” Financial Times, June 24, 2016
Definition: Post-factual democracy, a democracy in which ignorance and irrationality hold sway over facts and reason.
I want to thank Pat for the HRC quote. It helped me pull this together in my mind. Notice that HRC believes that the truth will eventually win, so did many people in the Republican party. But you can see where they are at now. So far Nicholas is right, the stop Trump movement looks like the army against the aliens all of their weapons have proved useless.
Ritholtz: “Democracy is based on the concept of a marketplace of ideas. Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes described the “free trade in ideas” within “the competition of the market.” By the time voters head to the polls, the participants will have chewed over the finer points, the details will be well known to all and, for the most part, everyone more or less understands what’s at stake.
More Posts by WhskykJack
Note from Craig: WhskyJack could use our help for a worthy cause — School supplies for kids in his neighborhood.