Individuals bear much of the blame for fake news. The study found that false rumors travel the Internet much more rapidly and widely than facts. These untruths get their velocity and reach not from celebrity influencers but from ordinary citizens sharing among their networks.
Evidently, we humans have a strong preference for novelty and sensationalism over scrupulous reality.
.. “Falsehood diffused significantly farther, faster, deeper, and more broadly than the truth in all categories of information,” the MIT scientists concluded after examining more than 125,000 stories shared by more than 3 million Twitter users. The most viral lies, they found, involved “false political news.”
.. Politics is tribal. It is a way of organizing conflict.
.. We are inclined to credit anything we hear from our allies and to believe the worst of our foes. In politics we see information as potential ammunition; we evaluate it for its potency and lethality rather than its strict veracity.
.. the Internet smokes out our self-deceptions and shows us as we really are.
Gambling and porn flourish on the Internet. Reasoned civil discourse, not so much.
.. This is a profound blow to idealists of the marketplace of ideas. From Adam Smith to Friedrich Hayek to James Surowiecki, the author of “The Wisdom of Crowds,” wise thinkers have emphasized the positive economic effects of dispersed power. A great many people, free to pursue the wisdom of their experiences and the perspectives from their vantage points, will arrive — as if moved by an invisible hand — at better results than any single mind or central planning bureaucracy could achieve.
.. But it turns out that the crowd is wise only when it is asking the right questions. A crowd determined to get the best value on flat-screen televisions will soon discover the proper price; but a crowd swept up by tulips or cryptocurrency may find itself pricing euphoria instead of value.What we see from Twitter and other platforms clearly signals that too many people are asking the wrong questions.. our ability to spread our careless and malign thinking is brand-new. Of all the digital-age jargon, perhaps none is more apt than “going viral,” because the contagion of bad information is a matter of individuals passing germs from host to host with geometric speed. Only disciplined digital hygiene can halt the epidemic.
“The warrant was not based on the dossier,” Smith said, claiming there was a “mountain of evidence” that Page had been having improper connections with Russian intelligence operatives.He said there is also abundant evidence of high-ranking Trump officials — like former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort — having met with Russians during the course of the campaign.“The dossier was not the key or did not have anything hardly to do with the getting of the warrant against Carter Page,” Smith stated, accusing the authors of the memo of “cherry-picking facts.”
Smith said the argument that is advanced by the memo is that the only way the FBI and Justice Department could have obtained a FISA warrant against page is by using the dossier, which he said is “factually false.”
“There is a mountain of evidence about Carter Page’s connections to Russian intelligence, his trips back and forth to Moscow — just like with Michael Flynn and a lot of other people — that had nothing to do with the dossier,” Smith said. “That is a known fact.”
Smith, the originator of what we now call economics, may have imagined a table set with self-interest-filled plates, but he didn’t cook his own meals, nor did he pay anyone to do it for him. He didn’t go from one devotee’s house to another like an ancient Greek, and he didn’t sit at a patron’s table like a court painter. Instead, he had his mommy do it.
.. Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner? is Marçal’s book-length attack on the idea of economic rationality as a whole, from Smith to the present day. For Marçal, the title story points to a fundamental error in economic ideology: “Somebody has to prepare that steak so Adam Smith can say their labor doesn’t matter.” Much of women’s domestic and reproductive labor quite literally does not factor within economic models. The old joke is that GDP declines when an economist marries his housekeeper, which is not so much a joke as a good explanation of Gross Domestic Product and what it does not account for.
.. The economic rationality that is supposed to guide human behavior isn’t designed to apply to the half of the population expected to work for free. Marçal doesn’t argue that economics is sexist so much as that it’s totally clueless.
.. Marçal rejects Lagarde and the “Lean In” brand of feminism that imagines women, economically, as heretofore repressed men.
.. Only a man, she suggests, would imagine independence rather than dependence as the basis for the human condition. Individualists make the mistake of economic thinking: They forget about their mothers.
.. But nothing could be further from the truth: The fetus is entirely enveloped within another human being, and the birth process is called labor.
.. She makes an excellent argument for the value of feminism as an analytical lens: It is not a way to show respect or fill out the historical record, but a critical means of differentiating truth from falsehood. Proceeding from the truths that women are people and many people are women reveals the ways in which other modes of thought begin with very different assumptions.
.. Not until the conclusion is it apparent how absent violence is from Marçal’s story. Reading the book, you might think capitalist patriarchy is propped up by reason. Marçal is fully convincing when she argues that centuries of individualist thinkers have worked from a limited understanding of human beings.
.. We have been taught, she writes, to identify with economic man: with “the depth of his feelings,” with his “fear of vulnerability, of nature, of emotion, of dependency, of the cyclical, and of everything we can’t understand.”