Why We Have An Information Epidemic - Deepstash

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3 reasons for information exhaustion – and what to do about it

Why We Have An Information Epidemic

Why We Have An Information Epidemic

We have a never ending stream of information coming at us, leaving our mind exhausted, with no energy left to engage, debate, analyse or refute the epistemic (epidemic of knowledge).

Uncertainty, polarization and misinformation are the three musketeers of this information overload.

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Reason is more of a guide

In a world where we can have complete information about everything, reason can give us certain answers. However, the world we are living in is not even close to having all the answers. In this world, words are fallible. So is perception and imagination.

Reason is then more of a guide than a symbol of truth.

The limits of understanding

There are limitations to what the human mind can understand. The mysteries of the Universe and our conscious experience are too complex to be restricted to words and formulas. 

We mostly operate on faith and habit in ways that aren’t obvious. 

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.

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-rhyming versions.

    Carl Sagan
    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. ”