- Oct 29, 2002
- East of Suez
Can you NOT tell the difference between subversive ideas and insane shite?
After this week, with so many people thinking it's perfectly OK to allow rampant lies and misinformation to rule, I'm keen to give up. It's been rather convincingly demonstrated that critical thinking has failed for about half the population. They are ill-equipt to tell truth from fiction, reality from fantasy and judge a reasonable course of action that affects their very lives. And, they vote. A functioning society cannot exist under conditions like this. It's not a good look for 21st-century humanity.
I was speaking to others in this thread as well. I only HOPE they are being sarcastic. But the worst of Forteanism is naivete about how easily influenced an individual or the rest of the population can be. Not everyone has the foundation to judge good ideas from bad. In the case of COVID - misinformation DOES harm many others. To flippantly suggest it's just "nonsense" or harmless, like lizard people, is absurd.
I think I'm fairly good at distinguishing subversive ideas from insane shit; my concern is that I.T. mega-corps running automated algorithms are not.
I agree with your two points: that a) misinformation can have deadly real-world consequences, and b) much of the population lacks the critical skills to make rational appraisals of information presented to them.
What I disagree with you on is that the remedy is to allow (nay, encourage) private companies to police public speech.
The remedy to concern 'a' lies in reforming the education system, while that to 'b' should reside with democratically elected and accountable governments and the legal system.
Not Jack Dorsey.