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Conspiracy Theories by Cass R. Sunstein, Adrian Vermeule :: SSRN
An especially useful account suggests that what makes (unjustified) conspiracy theories unjustified is that those who accept them must also accept a kind of spreading distrust of all knowledge-producing institutions, in a way that makes it difficult to believe anything at all.22 To think, for example, that U.S. government officials destroyed the World Trade Center and then covered their tracks requires an ever-widening conspiracy theory, in which the 9/11 Commission, congressional leaders, the FBI, and the media were either participants in or dupes of the conspiracy. But anyone who believed that would undercut the grounds for many of their other beliefs, which are warranted only by trust in the knowledge-producing institutions created by government and society. How many other things must not be believed, if we are not to believe something accepted by so many diverse actors? There may not be a logical contradiction here, but conspiracy theorists might well have to question a number of propositions that they seem willing to take for granted. As Robert Anton Wilson notes of the conspiracy theories advanced by Holocaust deniers, “a conspiracy that can deceive us about 6,000,000 deaths can deceive us about anything, and [then] it takes a great leap of faith for Holocaust Revisionists to believe World War II happened at all, or that Franklin Roosevelt did serve as President from 1933 to 1945, or that Marilyn Monroe was more ‘real’ than King Kong or Donald Duck.”23
conspiracy  fakenews 
6 hours ago by craniac
Finding It Hard to Focus? Maybe It’s Not Your Fault - The New York Times
Speaking at a technology conference in Amsterdam last year, Mr. Williams asked the designers in the room, some 250 of them, “How many of you guys want to live in the world that you’re creating? In a world where technology is competing for our attention?”

“Not a single hand went up,” he said.

“It’s changing our ability to make sense of what’s true, so we have less and less idea of a shared fabric of truth, of a shared narrative that we all subscribe to,” Mr. Harris said, the day after his Aspen talk. “Without shared truth or shared facts, you get chaos — and people can take control.”

At Columbia University, where every student is required to pass a core curriculum with an average of 200 to 300 pages of reading each week, professors have been discussing how to deal with the conspicuous change in students’ ability to get through their assignments. The curriculum has more or less stayed in place, but “we’re constantly thinking about how we’re teaching when attention spans have changed since 50 years ago,” said Lisa Hollibaugh, a dean of academic planning at Columbia.
attention  fakenews 
2 days ago by craniac
Why Facebook is losing the war on hate speech in Myanmar
Reuters found more than 1,000 examples of posts, comments and pornographic images attacking the Rohingya and other Muslims on Facebook. A secretive operation set up by the social media giant to combat the hate speech is failing to end the problem.

Link: https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/myanmar-facebook-hate/
DGNI  ncpin  nct  Facebook  Hatespeech  Violence  Fake  FakeNews 
3 days ago by walt74
isn’t new, and malicious isn’t new, but the combination of the two, plus a widespread destabilized…
AI  FakeNews  from twitter
5 days ago by Vince

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