Pour yourself a cup of coffee or make yourself a strong cup of tea and settle back to read this important but difficult article in The Guardian by Michiko Kakutani on why we seem to have given up on facts.
Kakutani is the former chief book critic for the New York Times. She has taken a deep dive into the reasons for the unreasonableness of many of today’s civic discussions.
For decades now, objectivity – or even the idea that people can aspire toward ascertaining the best available truth – has been falling out of favour. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s well-known observation that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts” is more timely than ever: polarisation has grown so extreme that voters have a hard time even agreeing on the same facts. This has been exponentially accelerated by social media, which connects users with like-minded members and supplies them with customised news feeds that reinforce their preconceptions, allowing them to live in ever narrower silos.
Kakutani’s book is The Death of Truth: Notes on Falsehood in the Age of Trump. These are difficult times for facts, reason, and truth. This essay will help you understand why we’re at this point.
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