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Fake News

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Author Topic: Fake News  (Read 1000 times)
ding dong
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« on: Dec 15, 2016 12:57 am »

I think we can more or less agree on this topic. The benefits of free speech and open inquiry are many. However, while free speech is recognized, there are some nuances and caveats. I am pretty sure your right to yell fire in a movie theater is still not protected. There are also apparently laws relating to slander, such that you can get sued for your speech. The yelling of fire in a theater is probably a good example here, though. Media companies are basically amplifiers for whatever passes through them. How much responsibility do companies like Facebook have for the information that passes through them? I am not sure. I'm definitely not inclined to want Mark Zuckerburg, or an algorithm for that matter, deciding what is fit for me to read.

But again - it's not black and white. Consider the cost of attention. Our attention is now a scarce resource compared to the amount of information there is to consume. We simply don't have time to examine every single article and counter-article during a news cycle. The best we can do is try to calibrate our minds to pick up on a more or less truthy narrative and decide what to read and believe based on that. Critical thinking and intelligence are necessary for that. But it won't make us perfect. You'll get some shit wrong sometimes and be mislead on occasion. The best we can hope for is to reduce that by training ourselves to think as clearly as possible. This means being honest with ourselves about our own biases and gaps of knowledge.

How can we really make the best possible life for ourselves if we are delusional?

Oh well, I have to run for now.

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