Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leonard Pitts on "Facts no longer mean what they once did"

Leonard Pitts penned a thought-provoking op-ed that appeared in a recent issue of the Oregonian. I am drawing attention to it here because of previous posts (here and here and here) I've written about the lamentable state of discourse in these times that, to me, reflects such severe ideological rigidity and lack of intellectual curiosity that I have a hard time coming to positive conclusions about the future of our society.

Not to sound too alarmist, mind you . . . BUT:

. . . that's the intellectual state of the union these days, as evidenced by all the people who still don't believe the president was born in Hawaii or that the planet is warming . . . I could send [Ken Thompson] more proof, I suppose . . . But those are facts, and the whole point here is that facts no longer mean what they once did. I suppose I could also ignore him. But you see, Ken Thompson is not just some isolated eccentric. No, he is the Zeitgeist personified.

To listen to talk radio, to watch TV pundits, to read a newspaper's online message board, is to realize that increasingly, we are a people estranged from critical thinking, divorced from logic, alienated from even objective truth. We admit no ideas that do not confirm us, hear no voices that do not echo us, sift out all information that does not validate what we wish to believe.


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