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Carl Sagan

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. ”

CARL SAGAN

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MORE IDEAS ON THIS

Overcome the illusory truth effect

Information we consume is like the food we eat. If it's junk, our thinking will show that.

  • Quit the news as a way of entertainment. If you want to inform yourself of something, learn from trustworthy sources.
  • Engage with timeless wisdom that will improve your life.

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The "firehose of propaganda" model

It has four distinct features:

  • It is high-volume and multi-channel
  • Rapid, continuous and repetitive
  • It makes no commitment to objective reality
  • It makes no commitment to consistency

Firehouse propaganda can include internet users who are paid to r...

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The illusory truth effect

The illusory truth effect

It's our tendency to believe false information to be correct after repeated exposure to it.

The illusory truth effect is the reason why advertising and propaganda works.

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Information pollution is harmful

The trickle of information pollution, like air pollution, builds up over time. The more we are exposed to it, the more likely we are to pick up false beliefs that are hard to get rid of.

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Propaganda

People that spread propaganda rely on repetition to change the beliefs and values of other people.

Propaganda can be used to improve public health or boost patriotism. But it can also be used to undermine political processes.

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Why repetition reinforces a belief

The typical explanation is that our brains take shortcuts to save energy:

  • Statements presented in as easy-to-read color are judged as more likely to be true.
  • Aphorisms that rhyme (like “what sobriety conceals, alcohol reveals") seem more accurate than non-rhymi...

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Fake news

Fake news includes:

  • Misrepresented information
  • News items are taken out of context
  • Failing to check facts or do background research
  • Using claims from unreliable sources at face value
  • Parodies

There is so muc...

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george_ii

Never give up. Always find a reason to keep trying.

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Overcoming The Semmelweis Reflex

The Semmelweis reflex is a knee-jerk tendency to reject new evidence. It's a form of confirmation bias where we deny objective evidence, even if it could bring transformative improvement.

We can train ourselves to avoid the Semmelweis Reflex by not holding too hard...

Why We Blame

Blame is a defense mechanism. What we’re defending ourselves from is our own responsibility for dealing with the unpleasant experience we’ve been given.

The benefit in blame is that it allows us to avoid feeling like we’re failing ourselves, that we lack the strength and maturity to ...

Surround yourself with supportive people

Surround yourself with supportive people

Those trusted few are the voices of truth and we need as many voices of truth as we can get. 

We’re going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us,” writes Beth Moore in “So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend To Us.”

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