Kindle The Death of Truth
The Death of Truth Ebook È 208 pages ì Michiko kakutani ì ❴EPUB❵ ✰ The Death of Truth Author Michiko Kakutani – Gym-apparel.co.uk A stirring and incisive manifesto on America's slide away from truth and reason Over the last three decades Michiko Kakutani has been thinking and writing aboA stirring and incisive manifesto on America's slide away from truth and reason Over the last three decades Michiko Kakutani has been thinking and writing about the demise of objective truth in popular culture academia and contemporary politics In The Death of Truth she connects the As the former chief book critic of The New York Times Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Michiko Kakutani has apparently spent the past three decades noting and commenting on the decline of “objective truth” in American literature and public life – and while she approves of this postmodern paradigm as it relates to art she has been horrified to watch as disestablishmentarianism has migrated from a necessary Leftist pushback against the military industrial complex to an alt right “drain the swamp” anti intellectualism which has found its apex in the current alternate facts fake news lies tweeting president uoting from sources as diverse as Hannah Arendt's The Origins of Totalitarianism David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest and Donald Trump's own Think Big Kakutani's The Death of Truth is scholarly logical and angry Here's the thing For a book that decries polarisation and bipartisanship and the algorithms that ensure we only read news stories online that align with what we already believe there's nothing neutral about Kakutani's treatise; she is preaching to her choir and dismissing everyone else as “alt right trolls” and “dittoheads”; nothing here would be persuasive to anyone who believes that mainstream media has a liberal bias and especially since she spent her career at The New York Times which isn't to say that I fundamentally disagree with what she writes here This is a uick read divided into nine essays and I've decided to let Kakutani do most of the talking here in excerpts I selected as demonstrative of either her points or her tone Two notes I am a Canadian and have read this book only as an interested bystander And since I read an ARC it is probably particularly egregious that I have uoted such big chunks; these passages may not be in their final forms but they do reflect the book I readThe Decline and Fall of Reason Trump who launched his political career by shamelessly promoting birtherism and who has spoken approvingly of the conspiracy theorist and shock jock Alex Jones presided over an administration that became in its first year the very embodiment of anti Enlightenment principles repudiating the values of rationalism tolerance and empiricism in both its policies and its modus operandi – a reflection of the commander in chief's erratic impulsive decision making style based not on knowledge but on instinct whim and preconceived and often delusional notions of how the world operatesThe New Culture Wars Since the 1960s there has been a snowballing loss of faith in institutions and official narratives Some of this skepticism has been a necessary corrective – a rational response to the calamities of Vietnam and Ira to Watergate and the financial crisis of 2008 and to the cultural biases that had long infected everything from the teaching of history in elementary schools to the injustices of the justice system But the liberating democratization of information made possible by the internet not only spurred breathtaking innovation and entrepreneurship; it also led to a cascade of misinformation and relativism as evidenced by today's fake news epidemic “Moi” and the Rise of Subjectivity Writers as disparate as Louise Erdrich David Mitchell Don DeLillo Julian Barnes Chuck Palahniuk Gillian Flynn and Lauren Groff would play with devices like multiples points of view unreliable narrators and intertwining story lines pioneered decades ago by Faulkner Woolf Ford Madox Ford and Nabokov to try to capture the new Rashomon like reality in which subjectivity rules and in the infamous words of former president Bill Clinton truth “depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is”The Vanishing of Reality Renee DiResta who studies conspiracy theories on the web argues that Reddit can be a useful testing ground for bad actors – including foreign governments like Russia – to try out memes or fake stories to see how much traction they get DiResta warned in the spring of 2016 that the algorithms of social networks – which give people news that's popular and trending rather than accurate or important – are helping to promote conspiracy theories This sort of fringe content can both affect how people think and seep into public policy debates on matters like vaccines zoning laws and water fluoridationThe Co opting of Language Trump's incoherence his twisted syntax his reversals his insincerity his bad faith and his inflammatory bombast is both a mirror of the chaos he creates and thrives on and an essential instrument in his liar's tool kit His interviews off teleprompter speeches and tweets are a startling jumble of insults exclamations boasts digressions non seuiturs ualifications exhortations and innuendos – a bully's efforts to intimidate gaslight polarize and scapegoatFilters Silos and Tribes Because social media sites give us information that tends to confirm our view of the world people live in increasingly narrow content silos and correspondingly smaller walled gardens of thought It's a big reason why liberals and conservatives Democrats and Republicans find it harder and harder to agree on facts and why a shared sense of reality is becoming elusiveAttention Deficit While public trust in the media declined in the new millennium part of a growing mistrust of institutions and gatekeepers as well as a concerted effort by the right wing to discredit the mainstream press and people started getting their news through Facebook Twitter and other online sources by 2017 fully two thirds of Americans said they got at least some of their news through social media This reliance on family and friends and Facebook and Twitter for news however would feed the ravenous monster of fake news“The Firehose of Falsehood” The sheer volume of dezinformatsiya unleashed by the Russian fire hose system – much like the improvised but eually voluminous stream of lies scandals and shocks emitted by Trump his GOP enablers and media apparatchiks – tends to overwhelm and numb people while simultaneously defining deviancy down and normalizing the unacceptable Outrage gives way to outrage fatigue which gives way to the sort of cynicism and weariness that empowers those disseminating liesThe Schadenfreude of the Trolls Trump of course is a troll – both by temperament and by habit His tweets and offhand taunts are the very essence of trolling – the lies the scorn the invective the trash talk and the rabid non seuiturs of an angry aggrieved isolated and deeply self absorbed adolescent who lives in a self constructed bubble and gets the attention he craves from bashing his enemies and trailing clouds of outrage and dismay in his path Even as president he continues to troll individuals and institutions tweeting and retweeting insults fake news and treacherous innuendoDespite making comparisons between Trump's misinformation techniues and those of Hitler and Lenin Kakutani ends on a hopeful note; pointing out those citizens who are pushing back against threats of despotism and urging her readers to join in “It's essential that citizens defy the cynicism and resignation that autocrats and power hungry politicians depend upon to subvert resistance” American citizens must also protect the institutions that their founding fathers put in place to uphold democracy the checks and balances of a tripartite political system education and a free and independent press This is an angry book and while Kakutani laments the modern echo chamber of thought I can't see this making much of an impact with those outside her own silo Four stars is a rounding up
Michiko Kakutani ½ The Death of Truth Ebook
Dots to reveal the slow march of untruth up to our present moment when Red State and Blue State America have little common ground proven science is once up for debate and all opinions are held to be eually valid And often than not rudely declared online The wisdom of the crowd has DTT — A New Truth is Born 🎊 “Trump the forty fifth president of the United States lies so prolifically and with such velocity that The Washington Post calculated that he’d made 2140 false or misleading claims during his first year in office—an average of nearly 59 a day”According to MK bumping into the truth through the Age of Trump will be something like finding a needle in a gigantic haystack and check it out later just in case it’s a false one😉“The postmodernist argument that all truths are partial and a function of one’s perspective led to the related argument that there are many legitimate ways to understand or represent an event“Postmodernism didn’t cause Trump It explains him” Step aside old TruthMake way for a brand newborn Truth — DTT — Donald Trump’s trademark Truth 😉
Pdf â The Death of Truth ½ Michiko Kakutani
The Death of TruthDiminished the power of research and expertise and we are each left clinging to the facts that best confirm our biasesWith wit erudition and remarkable insight Kakutani offers a provocative diagnosis of our current condition and presents a path forward for our truth challenged times I have a very close friend who is highly intelligent and whose opinion I value I had mentioned to him something about the basketball player Kyrie Irving and his uote that having flown around the world multiple times as an NBA player he believes the earth is flat I was incredulous that a highly educated man such as Irving who attended Duke University could believe this My friend however had a slightly different view on it “Well we live in a post truth world now You and I may believe that the earth is round but it is his experience and belief that it isn’t” This idea of “post truth” is at the heart of Michiko Kakutani’s book where she lays out a well reasoned case that rather than living in information bubbles we are actually living in information silos Where once access to demonstrably false information put out by a handful of at best unhinged at worst manipulative people was somewhat contained it now spreads like wildfires and finds its way into custom tailored newsfeeds Dissenting opinions or any that may challenge or worldview are noticeably absent as nothing motivates clicks than fear or outrage Whether that fear or outrage has any legitimacy or not is inconseuential to as my friend alluded how it makes you feel Or succinctly if I feel its true it is Kakutani spends a large part of this book tracing the roots of deconstructionism and how it has brought us to this moment in time where objective truth seems to be devalued Rather than trying to fight established and scientifically verifiable facts one can now just prevaricate and do so with such speed and volume that a kind of fatigue to fight these lies creeps in that Kakutani describes as “Choose your metaphor muddying the waters throwing chum to the sharks cranking up the fog machine flinging gorilla dust in the public’s eyes it’s a tactic designed to create adrenal fatigue and news exhaustion a strategy perfectly designed for our ADD information overloaded age ‘this twittering world’ in T S Eliot’s words where people can be ‘distracted from distraction by distraction’ ” It is to be sure a frightening age we are entering One where as Kakutani suggests artificial intelligence and other technological advances may lead to a day where video and audio can be so deftly altered as to the point where we will be unable to trust our own eyes Before that day however we as human beings still possess the ability to filter information if we choose to step out of our silos and choose to verify what we hear rather than let fatigue and exhaustion choose for us The uestion raised by this book is will we?