“Dumbness is Us”

Check out this interview with Susan Jacoby, author of the new book, The Age of American Unreason. Jacoby argues that the rise of infotainment as a channel for disseminating “news” is destroying Americans’ ability to read and converse, reducing our ability to respond effectively to the world.

Dumbness is us. When I hear people saying, “You were lied to,” usually in relation to the Iraq war, I think the fundamental question we should ask is really why we as a people were so susceptible to lies. If we don’t know where Iraq is on a map, if we don’t know anything about other cultures, if we don’t know anything about our history, the problem comes from us.

She believes the internet contributes to the problem. Perhaps so, but that’s not the fault of the internet, but of how people use it. Still, when watching how the electorate is being so shamelessly manipulated in this election cycle, you can’t help but agree with Jacoby’s basic thesis.

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