This is why I remain skeptical of admonitions of "People just need to be educated" to counter the interlocking onslaught of disinformation and self-gaslighting. 1/19…
I don't know if Janet Hedrick was a rigorous teacher or a competent librarian, what we do know is that she made a living at two professions dedicated to the sharing of authoritative knowledge. When even the librarians are self-gaslighting you're in deep trouble. 2/19
I absolutely believe that junior high and high school health courses should cover social media hygiene, that civics education needs to return and cover media literacy, that social studies and science classes need to explicitly teach skepticism and critical thinking. 3/19
Hopefully, younger generations of citizens will cope with a matured digital information age better than we have. But I don't know that the mental hygiene to resist motivated reasoning and epistemic closure can be taught at scale. 4/19
Make no mistake. Plenty of well-educated, savvy people believe nonsense that bolsters their self-identity. People with training in STEM or social sciences at the Ph.D. level turn into cranks. 5/19
Smart people have taken to weaponizing the jargon and tropes of scientific skepticism into more sophisticated rationalizations of conspiracy theorizing and science denial. 6/19
Media literacy and critical thinking are just one leg of what I've come to see as a three-legged stool (because I was going to go with a seven-legged stool but that didn't seem like a very powerful metaphor). 7/19
The second leg is depolarization.

The reason people choose to self-gaslight is that they primarily fear 'the other side.' Depolarization is not capitulation as it is too often smeared as. 8/19
Depolarization efforts shouldn't be aimed at the people we've already lost to the dark side. It needs to be aimed at avoiding tipping over new people to the dark side or reeling in those who are open but susceptible to either side's arguments and allegiances. 9/19
It means aiming at a 60% or 65% community of shared reality, not winning over the 35% who are gone for good. 10/19
So please don't object by saying, "We'll never win back those people, and the price isn't worth it." because that's not what I'm saying. 11/19
And despite me pointing this out explicitly, somebody will. Because somebody always pivots the possibility of appealing to swing voters into the futility of appealing to Trump voters.

Because that futility bolsters their self-identity. 12/19
The third leg is regulating the news and information environment. Most people can't think straight in a polluted news environment. We can barely think straight in a healthy news environment. 13/19
The big media platforms, Twitter and Facebook especially, have made baby steps in the right direction. 14/19
Much of this is going to need to come internally from the major platforms. 15/19
Some is going to need to come from the government. We need to come to grips with the fact that free speech fundamentalism will unravel democracy, as the forces of reaction weaponize our institutions and values against us. 16/19
Hopefully (though I'm doubtful), Facebook and Twitter can self-police. But Breitbart, OAN, and Newsmax explicitly will not --- having no standards and catering to the desires of those who crave the gaslighting is their jam. 17/19
People are departing for Parler specifically to avoid being in an information environment that has any standards. 18/19
How to balance a freedom of speech and of the press with a responsibility for baseline truth and empiricism while embodying Enlightenment and democratic values? I don't know. I only know that we need to start figuring that out. And we will. Or we will cease to be a democracy. 19
With Qanon it seems performative in the outlandish foolishness of what they are spouting. More education isn't going to fix that impulse. It could just make them better at it.

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More from @eatcookwrite

22 Nov
Looking for examples of sustainable agricultural systems at scale. That is, they were able to feed a civilization in a steady-state for centuries.

I can think of two. Can you point me to others?
The two I'm thinking of were highly context-dependent ecologically and required very tight governance.
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This is so important. Overselling comes with a price.

Overselling leads to debunking which leads to defensive defending which leads to unnecessarily rancorous debates.

This puts the whole thing into the framework of a culture war instead of a collegial search for truth and tools & solutions, all the while alienating potential allies.

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And telling people they have to spend it on your schedule is too paternalistic and a bureaucratic nightmare.
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@SylvanaquaFarms @songberryfarm @SarahTaber_bww @4mcc @sarah_k_mock I'm not loathe to admit that at all. I'm frustrated that it takes so much prodding to my fellow reformers to stop yammering on about proximate bullshit that is easily falsified and move upstream the center of the system where the levers actually are.
@SylvanaquaFarms @songberryfarm @SarahTaber_bww @4mcc @sarah_k_mock And it gets tiresome to have the fact that I don't agree with the standard-issue critique of the status quo means that people project onto me that I'm defending the status.
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DESIGNBOOM: G(u)arden is a pilot project with the long-term goal to identify all possible risk factors associated with the impact of the urban environment on edible plants that have been cultivated within it. 1/3 Image
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