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Declining trust in facts, institutions imposes real-world costs on US society, RAND report finds

By EurekAlert!

Americans' reliance on facts to discuss public issues has declined significantly in the past two decades, leading to political paralysis and collapse of civil discourseRead full story


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  • A major new study from the RAND corporation concludes that there’s a declining trust in the truth in the U.S. and that this has major consequences. And they also coin a great new term, at least new to me. “Over the past two decades,” the report states, “national political and civil discourse in the United States has been characterized by ‘Truth Decay.’” And part of this is due to the rise of social media and how it’s changed how we take in information. It’s a sobering report and very much worth reading.

  • With the exponential growth of information online, we’ve not only been experiencing data fog, but a blurring of facts that it is becoming more and more difficult to decipher what is fact and what is not.

    As I was reading this article, I recalled T.S. Eliot..”Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”

  • The response to this alarming trend is for schools and universities to train their students to use their judgment. This is a moment of reckoning for our educational system.

  • Lenin deployed many of the tactics Trump does in undermining institutions. In some schools in NY they are now teaching how "fake news" is modern day propaganda.

  • Well, this is not surprising, and neither is the solution: " Improved government transparency backed by changes in policy and a resurgence of responsible, investigative journalism marked the ends of some of these times, researchers found." But, sadly, I can't imagine either party, especially the GOP, making the effort.

  • Truth Decay is an interesting new word that's coined.

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