Friday, August 26, 2016
Are We Becoming A Nation Where Objective Facts Don't Matter
A famous French author once said that "people believe what they want to believe". I have always thought that he was a good observer of human nature and that we do have a strong tendency to believe what we want to believe. However, I also thought that most of us would change our minds if we were confronted with facts that were inconsistent with a belief. I may have been wrong. It would appear that strongly held beliefs are very resistant to contradictory information. Modern information technology has provided everyone with access to objective information, but the social media, which occupies much of our time, has provided propagandists with the means to shape our beliefs and to make us resistant to falsifying information. Everyone can choose the interest groups to which they want to belong. Sharing a belief system provides all of its members with resistance to objective information that is counter to their belief system. This article describes the sad state of objective information in the US and how the Internet has been used to systematically misinform many of our citizens and share their ignorance within their social media universe. They never have to question their belief system within their information cocoon.