I originally wrote this blog for TheFreeThoughtProject.com
A new article from the New York Times claims that instead of engaging with someone that challenges your worldview, you should “resist the lure of Rabbit Holes” and go to more authoritative sources such as Google and Wikipedia.
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The New York Times appears to have declared war on traditional critical thinking, which they say “isn’t helping in the fight against misinformation”.
Sharing the insights of “a digital literacy expert” named Michael Caulfield, the article reads as follows:
“We’re taught that, in order to protect ourselves from bad information, we need to deeply engage with the stuff that washes up in front of us,” Mr. Caulfield told me recently. He suggested that the dominant mode of media literacy (if kids get taught any at all) is that “you’ll get imperfect information and then use reasoning to fix that somehow. But in reality, that strategy can completely backfire.”
In other words: Resist the lure of rabbit holes, in part, by reimagining media literacy for the internet hellscape we occupy.
What Does The New York Times Suggest We Do Instead?
Caulfield argues that the best way to learn about a source of information is to “leave it and look elsewhere”, by seeing how that source of information measures up to the existing status quo.
For further clarification, the New York Times’ “digital literacy expert” provides us with an example by investigating a post (which they do not offer any link to) made by Robert F Kennedy Jr on Instagram:
He copied Mr. Kennedy’s name in the Instagram post and popped it into Google. “Look how fast this is,” he told me as he counted the seconds out loud. In 15 seconds, he navigated to Wikipedia and scrolled through the introductory section of the page, highlighting with his cursor the last sentence, which reads that Mr. Kennedy is an anti-vaccine activist and a conspiracy theorist.
In short, the New York Times and their “expert” are telling us that instead of investigating the claims of someone that challenges the status quo and our understanding and perception of reality, we should instead avoid them and go directly to the authorities to tell us what to think.
Considering the Wall Street Journal’s detailed investigation and an academic study both uncovering Google’s deliberate manipulation of search results (for which they have also been fined) and reports of organizations like the Vatican, CIA and FBI editing Wikipedia entries, this advice needs to be viewed with the highest suspicion for obvious reasons.
This is the Exact Opposite of How We Establish the Truth
There is an expression that “rejecting something you know nothing about is the highest form of ignorance,” and that’s basically what the New York Times and their “digital literacy expert” are encouraging their followers to do. “Resist the lure of Rabbit Holes” and go to Google, where in just “15 seconds”, you can get the Truth from Wikipedia — It’s genuinely shocking to read this.
History is overwhelmed by examples that prove this method to be deeply flawed. Galileo Galilei, Martin Luther King Jr, Nelson Mandela, and countless others were attacked by the authorities for challenging the status quo. In fact, I would argue that this has been a consistent theme throughout history and clearly represents that what the New York Times are encouraging us to do, is the exact opposite of establishing the Truth. No, it’s not a 15 second process, and no, you don’t mindlessly rely on the authorities to give you the Truth.
New York Times Has a Documented History of Spreading Dangerous Propaganda
Unsurprisingly, the New York Times has a well documented history of spreading dangerous propaganda and working with the authorities to uphold the status quo.
During the 1990’s, after journalist Gary Webb exposed how the CIA were working with drug traffickers, the New York Times and other establishment media outlets embarked on a campaign of character assassination claiming Webb was lying, when he was actually telling the Truth.
Correspondingly, in 2012 Glen Greenwald wrote an article on the “correspondence and collusion” between the CIA and the New York Times. In 2015, Professor Noam Chomsky wrote of how the news giant helped cover up war crimes for the U.S. government.
Frustrated Establishment Media No Longer Has a Monopoly on Information
Although I find this New York Time’s article to be revolting, it’s also quite insightful as to how desperate some establishment media outlets have become in their efforts to control the narrative, which has grown more and more frivolous with the introduction of the internet where people such as myself can use verifiable evidence to expose how hypocritical and deceptive they are.
Please help share this because we all know the establishment is not going to expose themselves.
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