Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't reason with me or bore me with facts

Like many other people, I find my preconceptions are far more persuasive than mere facts. Joe Keohane writes in the Boston Globe about this phenomenon, and about democracy, informed citizenry, and the misguided notion that facts will enlighten ignorant people. Farheed Manjoo covers much of the same ground in his excellent and entertaining "True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society," and at The Monkey Cage, John Sides provides links to some other interesting sites/papers on the topic, including a disheartening case study of  such unimpressionable ignorance,  "The Causes and Consequences of Public Mis-perceptions about Immigrant Populations"  So much for Carnegie´s ideas about public libraries providing empowerment through knowledge and enlightenment!

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