Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

Posts tagged Reality

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On “All acts of terror are committed by Muslims!” — except when they’re not

markanders1200 replied to your quote: “The person questioned in the hospital was a Saudi…

demonization? probably made a calculation based on 1) 3 airliners murdered by Saudis, 2) massive war against Afgan terrorists & Osama, 3) frigging bombs just went off like we was in Kandahar. Duh.

Because white men have never, ever committed acts of domestic terror involving bombings, yes? Because all acts of terror are committed by Muslims, right? Except when they’re not:

"For the second year in a row, there were no fatalities or injuries from Muslim-American terrorism. Meanwhile, the United States suffered approximately 14,000 murders in 2012. Since 9/11, Muslim-American terrorism has claimed 33 lives in the United States, out of more than 180,000 murders committed in the United States during this period. Over the same period, more than 200 Americans have been killed in political violence by white supremacists and other groups on the far right, according to a recent study published by the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy. Sixty-six Americans were killed in mass shootings by non-Muslims in 2012 alone, twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11."
— Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security, University of North Carolina, February 1, 2013

Sorry, dudebro, The actual facts don’t line up with your paranoia.

Cheers,

Meg

Filed under terrorism right wing terrorism Muslims reality right wing white supremacists

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How facts backfire | Researchers discover a surprising threat to democracy: our brains

It’s one of the great assumptions underlying modern democracy that an informed citizenry is preferable to an uninformed one. “Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government,” Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1789. This notion, carried down through the years, underlies everything from humble political pamphlets to presidential debates to the very notion of a free press. Mankind may be crooked timber, as Kant put it, uniquely susceptible to ignorance and misinformation, but it’s an article of faith that knowledge is the best remedy. If people are furnished with the facts, they will be clearer thinkers and better citizens. If they are ignorant, facts will enlighten them. If they are mistaken, facts will set them straight.

In the end, truth will out. Won’t it?

Maybe not. Recently, a few political scientists have begun to discover a human tendency deeply discouraging to anyone with faith in the power of information. It’s this: Facts don’t necessarily have the power to change our minds. In fact, quite the opposite. In a series of studies in 2005 and 2006, researchers at the University of Michigan found that when misinformed people, particularly political partisans, were exposed to corrected facts in news stories, they rarely changed their minds. In fact, they often became even more strongly set in their beliefs. Facts, they found, were not curing misinformation. Like an underpowered antibiotic, facts could actually make misinformation even stronger.

This explains so much. SO MUCH. As Stephen Colbert said, “Reality has a well-known liberal bias.” Actually, it’s just, uh… biased I suppose. 

Filed under Facts Reality has a liberal bias Dude politics reality fact-checking political reality beliefs belief