Tag: Cory Doctorow (page 1 of 6)

Microcast #091 — Arguing in circles

Overview

An eclectic mix of articles in today’s microcast, covering everything from teens and tech to Fediverse functionality.

Show notes


Image via Pexels

Background music: Shimmers by Synth Soundscapes (aka Mentat)

Epistemological chaos and denialism

Good stuff from Cory Doctorow on how Big Tobacco invented the playbook and it’s been refined in other industries (especially online) ever since.

Denial thrives on epistemological chaos: a denialist doesn’t want to convince you that smoking is safe, they just want to convince that it’s impossible to say whether smoking is safe or not. Denial weaponizes ideas like “balance,” demanding that “both sides” of every issue be presented so the public can decide. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as big a believer in dialetical materialism as you are likely to find, but I also know that keeping an open mind doesn’t require that you open so wide that your brains fall out.

The bad-faith “balance” game is used by fraudsters and crooks to sow doubt. It’s how homeopaths, anti-vaxers, eugenicists, raw milk pushers and other members of the Paltrow-Industrial Complex played the BBC and other sober-sided media outlets, demanding that they be given airtime to rebut scientists’ careful, empirical claims with junk they made up on the spot.

This is not a harmless pastime. The pandemic revealed the high price of epistemological chaos, of replacing informed debate with cynical doubt. Argue with an anti-vaxer and you’ll soon realize that you don’t merely disagree on what’s true — you disagree on whether there is such a thing as truth, and, if there is, how it can be known.

Source: I quit. | Cory Doctorow | Medium

A web-based commonplace book

It’s always great to hear Cory read his own work as he’s such an engaging speaker. This is a particularly interesting example, however, as it meshes so well with my experience of writing in the open for the last 15+ years.

This week on my podcast, my inaugural column for Medium, The Memex Method, a reflection on 20 years of blogging, and how it has affected my writing.

Source: The Memex Method | Cory Doctorow’s craphound.com