A nation of know-nothings

Tim Egan on the NYT website: "It would be nice to dismiss the stupid things that Americans believe as harmless, the price of having such a large, messy democracy... At its worst extreme, a culture of misinformation can produce something like Iran, which is run by a Holocaust denier. It’s one thing to forget the past, with predictable consequences, as the favorite aphorism goes. But what about those who refuse to comprehend the present?"

As I put it on Facebook earlier: I don't deny there are lies believed on both sides... I'm not interested in any partisan attacks here. But when we can't get people to agree on basic, proveable facts -- and powerful forces are promoting stories they know are untrue to serve their own interests -- then I think our democratic experiment is in trouble.

I'm very curious as to how we can use technology to help build social consensus, as opposed to tearing it down.

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