Is There a Way Out of Information Chaos & Cancel Culture? Jonathan Rauch Shines a Light

We are in an information crisis. Viral disinformation predominates on the right, and cancel culture on the left, but Jonathan Rauch says in his new book "The Constitution of Knowledge" that both of them "share the goal of dominating the information space by demoralizing their human targets: confusing them, isolating them, drowning them out, deplatforming them, or overwhelming them so they give up on pushing back."

The book is not primarily about media literacy. It's not a guide with tips about how to tell fake news from real news. It's a step back or up from that. Rauch delves into the philosophical realm to think deeply about what kind of system can fill that power vacuum in a way that preserves all the things I mentioned at the beginning: personal freedom, peace and prosperity, democracy, the futures of our loved ones and of the most vulnerable.

Rauch argues that we already have this system, and in some ways need to replenish it by becoming newly aware of and grateful for it. He draws a parallel between the Constitution of Knowledge and the U.S. Constitution, in that they do something very similar: "They compel and organize social negotiation."

The Constitution of Knowledge is a set of "social rules for turning disagreement into knowledge."

"If we care about knowledge, freedom and peace, then we need to stake a strong claim: anyone can believe anything, but liberal science -- open-ended, depersonalized checking by an error-seeking social network -- is the only legitimate validator of knowledge, at least in the reality-based community," he writes.

Intro music: "A Good Ending" by Dan Koch

Post-intro music: "St. Tom's Lullaby" by The Welcome Wagon

Outro music: "My Man" by Dan Koch

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