Post-persuasion America

Jeff Deist on 1/1/2021 wrote Welcome to Post-persuation America

Here are some excerpts

… the information age makes us less curious and willing to consider worldviews unlike our own. We have access to virtually all of humanity’s accumulated knowledge and history on devices in our pockets, but the sheer information overload causes us to dig in rather than open up. Anyone who wants to change their mind can find a whole universe of alternative viewpoints online, but very few people do…

Because we can always find media sources which confirm our perspective and biases—and dismiss those which don’t—the notion of politics by argument or consensus is almost entirely lost. And no matter what our political or cultural perspective, there is someone creating content tailored to suit us as stratified consumers. Thus liberals, conservatives, and people of every other ideological stripe live in vastly different digital media worlds, even when they live in close physical proximity.

But because information is so abundant and readily available, it becomes worth less and less. Information is cheap, literally.

For our grandparents, knowledge was analog and came with a price. Gatekeepers, in the form of media, universities, libraries, and bookstores, acted as editors and filters. Walter Cronkite, the most trusted propagandist in America, delivered one version of the news every night. The local newspaper did the same every morning. Even just thirty years ago it was often no easy task, and there was no small cost, to obtain books and literature not easily found in local or university libraries.