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HOW THE U.S. LOST ITS MIND – – – when did America become untethered from reality?
The nation’s current post-truth movement:
by Kurt Andersen, from THE ATLANTIC MAGAZINE, September 2017 issue:
In America nowadays, those more exciting parts of the Enlightenment idea have swamped the sober, rational, empirical parts.
Little by little for centuries, then more and more and faster and faster during the past half century, we Americans have given ourselves over to all kinds of magical thinking, anything-goes relativism, and belief in fanciful explanation – – small and large fantasies that console or thrill or terrify us.
And most of us haven’t realized how far-reaching our strange new normal has become, letting the subjective entirely override the objective; thinking and acting as if opinions and feelings are just as true as facts.
Digital technology is empowering real-seeming fictions of the ideological and religious and scientific kinds.
Among the web’s 1 billion sites, believers in anything and everything can find thousands of fellow fantasists, with collages of facts and “facts” to support them.
Before the internet, crackpots were mostly isolated, and surely had a harder time remaining convinced of their alternate realities.
Now their devoutly believed opinions are all over the airwaves and the web, just like actual news.
Now all of the fantasies look real.
Norio Hayakawa’s CIVILIAN INTELLIGENCE NEWS SERVICE
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