When In Doubt, Be An Ignorant Liar

June 28, 2016

picasso1Foggy and chilly this early Tuesday on California’s north coast, seemingly part of the narrative of early summer in these parts. And most-likely, as in yesterday’s tale, sunshine and a sea breeze can be expected in a few hours, or less.

One glaring aspect of the historical/political narrative coming to the recent forefront is the yuuge-amount of self-inflicted asshole-stupidity now bubbling up. Not just in the landslide-ignorance of last week’s Brexit event, but starting in the US — last April, a high school junior in Las Vegas voiced the reality: ‘“Trump has this profound intentional ignorance.”
Way-operative word, ‘intentional.’

Major problem being people such as the “shit stain” have no shame…

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Harlequin Head,’ found here).

And these people will enlist a combo of the lowest denominators of fear-mongering and doubt in a horrible, twisted nightmare of bullshit, appealing to already-mean-spirited idiots.
Maybe worse still, the shit is so freaking obvious to anyone with any-kind of walking-around sense.

In this era of evident bullshit, there needs to be a cover, or umbrella-like literary-device to handle the overflow and make sense of it. Barry Ritholtz at Bloomberg yesterday morning keyed the word:

However, there is a disconcerting trend that has gained strength: agnotology.
It’s a term worth knowing, since it is going global.
The word was coined by Stanford University professor Robert N. Proctor, who described it as “culturally constructed ignorance, created by special interest groups to create confusion and suppress the truth in a societally important issue.”
It is especially useful to sow seeds of doubt in complex scientific issues by publicizing inaccurate or misleading data.

Also an era of say anything, true or not — Ritholtz (also blogs at the most-excellent, The Big Picture) taps the power source: ‘We see the results in a variety of public-policy issues where one side has manufactured enough doubt through false statements, inflammatory rhetoric and data from dubious sources that they can mislead public opinion in a significant way, at least for a time.’

Time enough for a major fuck-up…

Telling even more — description about Proctor’s work, “Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance,” from Stanford University Press: ‘The goal of this volume is to better understand how and why various forms of knowing do not come to be, or have disappeared, or have become invisible.’

Or stupid is, as stupid be — Trump a couple of weeks ago and a reverse selfie (NBCNY):

“I refuse to be politically correct. I want to do the right thing, I want to straighten things out, and I want to make America great again,”
Trump said in a speech at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire that doubled down on his proposed ban on Muslims entering the country.
“The days of deadly ignorance will end, and they will end soon, if I’m elected.”

Or go berserk on national TV…

(Illustration out front: ‘Pinocchio,’ by Enrico Mazzanti, found here).

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