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If comrades have not read the piece by Zeynep Tufekci that Louis posted a 
couple of weeks ago, they really should. Here’s the link again:


It turns out the Rand Corporation has undertaken a substantial piece of 
research on essentially the same issue (differing class loyalties 
notwithstanding), which was published around the same time as Tufekci’s piece. 
From the release:

“Over the past two decades, national political and civil discourse in the 
United States has been characterized by "Truth Decay," defined as a set of four 
interrelated trends: an increasing disagreement about facts and analytical 
interpretations of facts and data; a blurring of the line between opinion and 
fact; an increase in the relative volume, and resulting influence, of opinion 
and personal experience over fact; and lowered trust in formerly respected 
sources of factual information. These trends have many causes, but this report 
focuses on four: characteristics of human cognitive processing, such as 
cognitive bias; changes in the information system, including social media and 
the 24-hour news cycle; competing demands on the education system that diminish 
time spent on media literacy and critical thinking; and polarization, both 
political and demographic. The most damaging consequences of Truth Decay 
include the erosion of civil discourse, political paralysis, alienation and 
disengagement of individuals from political and civic institutions, and 
uncertainty over national policy.

“This report explores the causes and consequences of Truth Decay and how they 
are interrelated, and examines past eras of U.S. history to identify evidence 
of Truth Decay's four trends and observe similarities with and differences from 
the current period. It also outlines a research agenda, a strategy for 
investigating the causes of Truth Decay and determining what can be done to 
address its causes and consequences.”

From here (where you can also download the full report):


When Zeynep Tufekci and the Rand Corporation are raising alarm bells about 
essentially the same thing, and invoking similar proximate causes for it, I 
think one can be assured that they’re both onto something pretty significant.
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