It’s up to us to kill false information. Good luck.

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.

08 – Jonathan Haidt on Morality, Politics, Disgust, and Intellectual Diversity on Campus

6 Moral Taste Buds:

  • liberty vs oppression
  • loyalty vs diversity
  • authority
  • openness
  • conscientiousness

Diversity leads to clashing ideas (26 min)

The military deals with diverse members by creating uniformity.

Colleges do not pump out graduating classes that go out and do great things as a unit.

Social Sciences: Pursue Social Justice and Victims

Extremism in pursuit of any Virtue is a Vice (49 min)

Once you make helping the poor/African americans a religion you are

Comedy Is Not Pretty, and Nowadays It Isn’t Even Funny

With sanctimony having replaced humor, the only thing left to laugh at is the farce of politics itself.

.. watching on YouTube the comedian Bill Maher talk about Donald Trump’s marriage. If you don’t share Mr. Maher’s politics, you are likely to find him an odious, even loathsome character, for he doesn’t really exist outside politics. His standard tone is mockery, his modus operandi to lacerate his targets with obscenities, flash a nervous smile, and then bask in applause from his audience.

.. Yet to have taken what I think of as the Trumpian option in their comedy has rendered these comedians charmless while strikingly limiting their audiences to those who share their politics.

.. I asked a great many people to name five persons in public life they thought charming. No one could do it.

.. That the late-night talk-show hosts are ready to give up a large share of the audience to indulge their politics is something new in American comedy.

.. when Bob Hope found himself, because of his support for the Vietnam War, aligned with Richard Nixon, many of his most steadfast fans deserted him.

.. Enough people must share the views of these hosts to keep the careers of Maher, Colbert, Kimmel & Co. afloat, which is to say to keep their ratings high enough to be commercially viable. Yet these insufficiently funny comedians, with their crude political humor, do little more than add to the sad divisiveness that is rending the country. Something, surely, has been lost if one can no longer turn to comedy as a relief from the general woes of life and the greater farce that has for some years now been playing out in our everyday politics.