Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#122: Anti-Intellectualism

Americans aren’t getting dumber because of vaccines or fluoride or GMOs or “Big Pharma.” They're dumber precisely because dimbulbs honestly believe those things have made people dumber. If anything, Americans are dumber because the internet has more easily allowed conspiracy wackjobs who sincerely and unironically believe that drivel to spread their misinformation and confirm their biases with each other.

The internet may be the information superhighway, but like any other road, it travels two ways. It may allow for information to more easily and freely travel, but if anything, it allows misinformation to travel even faster. In the words of Mark Twain, the internet more easily allows a lie to travel halfway around the world while the truth is still busy lacing its shoes.

And the worst part? Outside of countering misinformation, which is easier said than done, there doesn’t seem to be a solution to this mess that doesn’t involve massive government or corporate censorship. In such an age of information, ignorance truly is a choice, and the choice is made all the more easier when comforting lies become preferable to harsh realities.

Welcome to the post-factual democracy, where everything is made up and the facts don’t matter. Yes, the facts are like the points on Whose Line Is It Anyway!