Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Word for Partisan Glosses

Well, we had to post something today, and Ritholtz liked it, so...

When it comes to many contentious subjects, our usual relationship to information is reversed: Ignorance increases.

[Proctor] has developed a word inspired by this trend: agnotology. Derived from the Greek root agnosis, it is “the study of culturally constructed ignorance.”

As Proctor argues, when society doesn’t know something, it’s often because special interests work hard to create confusion.

...“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.”

Some of the examples provided at Big Pic are interesting, but the pre-eminent recent example would be "the credit meltdown." It ain't just Barney Frank vs. Greedy Capitalists, no matter how hard the propagandists attempt to paint it that way.

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