Tuesday, October 26, 2010

'Truth LIES here'

The November Atlantic out this week has a compelling story on the use and abuse of the Internet to not just try to control the flow of information, but to make it up.

Contributing editor Michael Hirschorn quotes the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan's line that we may each be entitled to our own set of opinions, but we are not entitled to our own set of facts.

"The Breitbarts, Gingriches, and 'bury brigades' are engaged in an enterprise uniquely enabled by the collapse of the center and the ubiquitous means by which information can spread instantly," Hirschorn writes. "It’s easy to welcome a time in which technology unleashes an ongoing town hall on any and all issues of the day, in which the wisdom of crowds holds sway. But the dislodging of fact from the pedestal it had safely occupied for centuries makes the recent disturbances in politics and the media feel like symptoms of a larger epistemological, even civilizational, rot."