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Post-Truth

Narrated by: Matthew Josdal
Length: 4 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, Politics
4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

What, exactly, is post-truth? Is it wishful thinking, political spin, mass delusion, bold-faced lying? McIntyre analyzes recent examples - claims about inauguration crowd size, crime statistics, and the popular vote - and finds that post-truth is an assertion of ideological supremacy by which its practitioners try to compel someone to believe something regardless of the evidence.

Yet post-truth didn't begin with the 2016 election; the denial of scientific facts about smoking, evolution, vaccines, and climate change offers a road map for more widespread fact denial. Add to this the wired-in cognitive biases that make us feel that our conclusions are based on good reasoning even when they are not, the decline of traditional media and the rise of social media, and the emergence of fake news as a political tool, and we have the ideal conditions for post-truth. McIntyre also argues provocatively that the right wing borrowed from postmodernism - specifically, the idea that there is no such thing as objective truth - in its attacks on science and facts.

McIntyre argues that we can fight post-truth, and that the first step in fighting post-truth is to understand it.

©2018 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (P)2018 Gildan Media

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  • 06-14-19

The only interesting chapter was chapter 6

This chapter deals with the right-wing "hijacking" of leftist post-modernist theories, which reminds the "hijacking" of democratic institutions by what would develop into fascist regimes (see Hannah Arendt's "The Origins of Totalitarianism").
The rest of the book, and especially the last chapter ("what can WE do about it") is an extremely abridged introduction to social psychology, communications research, and the Trump 2016 campaign.
I guess I set my expectations too high.

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A gift for that uncle of yours

A thorough covering of a timely topic. Meaty stuff. A potential gift for those struggling with current events.