Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Ignorance can be bliss?

Are you an agnotologist?

What's going on? Normally, we expect society to progress, amassing deeper scientific understanding and basic facts every year. Knowledge only increases, right?

Robert Proctor doesn't think so. A historian of science at Stanford, Proctor points out that when it comes to many contentious subjects, our usual relationship to information is reversed: Ignorance increases.

1 comment:

  1. An excellent article. I especially liked the line that differentiates between arguing ABOUT the facts, and arguing over WHAT the facts are. It is getting easier and easier for people to find a source of information that is slanted towards what they already believe, which is not healthy. Democrats and Republicans should be more willing to read/listen to other points of view. This reminds me of David Mamet's explanation of the difference between entertainment and art: Entertainment shows you ideas and stories that you already agree with - whereas art challenges what you believe, and forces you to think of them in a new way.