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Is Digital Culture Responsible for Post-Truth Politics?

I’m going to argue today that even while we know post-truth pol­i­tics is hav­ing a ter­ri­ble effect on our polit­i­cal cul­ture and our role as cit­i­zens, it’s curi­ous­ly dif­fi­cult to com­bat it because of a set of beliefs about what pol­i­tics is, and about the Internet and the way it enables ordi­nary peo­ple to have a voice. And these beliefs inter­sect with a pre­vail­ing anti-intellectual anti-elitism which asso­ciates knowl­edge, dis­cern­ment, and truth with snob­bery and pow­er.

The Conversation #43 — Roberta Francis

Generally peo­ple don’t see the skir­mish­es that are always always always going on in the back­ground to pre­serve where we are now in terms of laws against sex dis­crim­i­na­tion or laws that would pro­mote sex equal­i­ty. But com­pared to where we were when the ERA came out of Congress in 1972, we are very much bet­ter off in terms of equal­i­ty of rights being guar­an­teed by the law, because so many laws that did dis­crim­i­nate on their face are off the books as a result of the strug­gle for the Equal Rights Amendment.

The Conversation #5 — Andrew Keen

We’ve got two para­dox­i­cal trends hap­pen­ing at the same time. The first is what I call in my book the cult of the social,” the idea that on the net­work, every­thing has to be social and that the more you reveal about your­self the bet­ter off you are. So if your friends could know what your musi­cal taste is, where you live, what you’re wear­ing, what you’re think­ing, that’s a good thing, this cult of shar­ing. So that’s one thing that’s going on. And the oth­er thing is an increas­ing­ly rad­i­cal­ized indi­vid­u­al­ism of con­tem­po­rary, par­tic­u­lar­ly dig­i­tal, life. And these things seem to sort of coex­ist, which is para­dox­i­cal and it’s some­thing that I try to make sense of in my book.

What Does the Internet Bring to the Concept of a Country?

You all have, undoubt­ed­ly, friends in New York and San Francisco and Berlin and Tokyo and Australia or what­ev­er, all of whom you have much more in com­mon with than you do with your neigh­bor. You’ve cre­at­ed dias­po­ras of inter­est. The death of dis­tance has cre­at­ed many dif­fer­ent new forms of coun­try. Countries which aren’t based on how far it is from us to those guys over there, but new coun­tries based on what you’re inter­est­ed in.

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