Thursday, April 6, 2017

The ‘alternative facts’ epidemic goes way beyond politics; Washington Post, April 5, 2017

George F. Will, Washington Post; The ‘alternative facts’ epidemic goes way beyond politics

"The consequences of what Stewart calls “our growing intolerance of an unedited reality” are enumerated in Tom Nichols’s new book, “The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters.” Our devices and social media are, he says, producing people who confuse “Internet grazing” with research and this faux research with higher education, defined by a wit as “those magical seven years between high school and your first warehouse job.” Years when students demand to run institutions that the students insist should treat them as fragile children.

“It is,” Nichols writes, “a new Declaration of Independence: no longer do we hold these truths to be self-evident, we hold all truths to be self-evident, even the ones that aren’t true. All things are knowable and every opinion on any subject is as good as any other.”"

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