Anti-semitism on ATS.

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Re: Anti-semitism on ATS.

Postby uberarcanist » Mon Feb 02, 2009 2:03 am

Ya, ya, ya, I know "long time no post" but here's what I think...yes, I have maaaaannnnyyy beefs against The Jewish State but the blanket condemnation of the whole ethnic group as you will find on ATS is no better than the blanket condemnation of Arabs/Muslims/They-who-are-not-like-us you will find among some right wing types.
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Re: Anti-semitism on ATS.

Postby Access Denied » Tue Feb 03, 2009 7:11 am

Hey UA, good to hear from ‘ya again.

Well, as you and MrP point out, I don’t think anyone can claim to know the “real reason” behind the various and seemingly eternal conflicts in the Middle East… certainly not enough to lay blame on any one group or event… or at least I can’t. Seems there’s plenty of that to go around, never mind finding a solution…

[actually I have one but that’s OT for this thread and I don’t think it would go over too well with most people]

Coincidentally, I’ve been getting the print edition of Wired lately thanks to a coworker and I just happened to read this thought provoking article tonight that seems to illustrate the problem we’re seeing…

Manufacturing Confusion
How More Info Leads to Less Knowledge ... t_thompson

[select quotes, emphasis mine]

Is global warming caused by humans? Is Barack Obama a Christian? Is evolution a well-supported theory?

You might think these questions have been incontrovertibly answered in the affirmative, proven by settled facts. But for a lot of Americans, they haven't.


What's going on? Normally, we expect society to progress, amassing deeper scientific understanding and basic facts every year. Knowledge only increases, right?

Robert Proctor doesn't think so. A historian of science at Stanford, Proctor points out that when it comes to many contentious subjects, our usual relationship to information is reversed: Ignorance increases.

He has developed a word inspired by this trend: agnotology. Derived from the Greek root agnosis, it is "the study of culturally constructed ignorance."


"People always assume that if someone doesn't know something, it's because they haven't paid attention or haven't yet figured it out," Proctor says. "But ignorance also comes from people literally suppressing truth—or drowning it out—or trying to make it so confusing that people stop caring about what's true and what's not."

After years of celebrating the information revolution, we need to focus on the countervailing force: The disinformation revolution.


Maybe the Internet itself has inherently agnotological side effects. People graze all day on information tailored to their existing worldview. And when bloggers or talking heads actually engage in debate, it often consists of pelting one another with mutually contradictory studies they've Googled: "Greenland's ice shield is melting 10 years ahead of schedule!" vs. "The sun is cooling down and Earth is getting colder!"

As Farhad Manjoo notes in True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society, if we argue about what a fact means, we're having a debate. If we argue about what the facts are, it's agnotological Armageddon, where reality dies screaming.

Amen… hard to find much better evidence of this disturbing trend than ATS methinks.

Anyway, the article goes on to indicate there may be some cause for optimism… check it out. Certainly we here at RU are trying our best to combat “agnotological rot”. 8)

[hey I learned a new word today!]

P.S. On a somewhat related note, I also found the Wired graphic spread Infoporn: Today's Playmates Are More Like Anime Figures Than Real Humans disturbing…

Men go and come but Earth abides.
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