Thursday, August 17, 2023

Quote of the Day (Tim Harford, on Why Conspiracy Believers Fall for Lies)

“Many of the most corrosive lies currently circulating have taken hold not because the conspiracy believers will believe anything, but because they start by trusting nothing. In order to believe that Covid-19 was a con or that the 2020 election was stolen, one must first disbelieve traditional media outlets, scientific journals and institutions of longstanding. All three, alas, sometimes give us reasons to doubt them, but those reasons shouldn’t lead people into a dogmatic rejection of anything the ‘mainstream’ says. That defensive doubt might feel smart, but it’s really a cognitive surrender born out of a sense of helplessness and despair.” — “Underground Economist” columnist Tim Harford, “How to Turn Our Children Into Truth Sleuths,” The Financial Times, Mar. 18-19, 2023

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