Defending Truth. Advancing Knowledge: Jonathan Rauch

Democracies around the world are under threat from populist movements, demagogues, and dogmatic extremists who use disinformation, conspiracy theories, cancel culture, and shaming to weaponize social media and challenge our ability to distinguish truth from falsehood.

Most recently, the Russian government has used lies and fake news to justify its attempted land grab in Ukraine. In "The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth", best-selling author, journalist, and public intellectual, Jonathan Rauch, offers a stirring defense of the social system of checks and balances that is crucial for turning disagreement into verifiable facts.

"This global network of people hunting for each others' errors is far and away the greatest human technology ever invented," Jonathan tells us. The constitution of knowledge "is a global conversation of people looking for truth, and more especially, looking for error."

In this episode of "How Do We Fix It?", Jonathan arms listeners and advocates of truth with a clear understanding of what they must protect, and how to do it. He makes a clear and moving argument for how all of us can help defend truth and free inquiry from threats that come from as far away as Russia and as close as our cellphones.

Here's one of our recommended reviews of "The Constitution of Knowledge".

Movie recommendation: Richard enjoyed "The Leopard", a 1963 Italian period drama by director Luchino Visconti, starring Burt Lancaster, Claudia Cardinale, and Alain Delon.

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