It’s helpful to remember that one can be very intelligent and still be caught up in anti-intellectual confusion. Thinking clearly and logically is a skill that needs constant honing and improvement. So much of our technology encourages us to be lazy in the way we think. I have a strong suspicion that many people who seek news and information on the web are unclear about the sources they are consulting as well as the distortions in many of them.
This has led me to read more carefully what people I disagree with are putting up on social media. Since I’m connected to these people I have found it tricky to respond to them directly since the parameters of coherence and calm discussion do not seem to obtain in how they communicate online. Instead I have been lately doing a bit more sharing on Facebooger. Not only do I continue to share what I think are substantial pieces of thinking (often that’s what I link here as well), but I have begun to pass on more propaganda type pieces. The propaganda I choose is stuff that is putting forward what I understand as sorely needed coherence and reason to balance what I am seeing others sharing online.
So now when I read something frustrating wrong and incoherent (often admittedly extreme right wing stuff put up by people I know and care about), I now allow myself to immediately link in and share stuff that I see as an antidote to anti-intellectualism and mediocrity.
I have found it interesting who responds to these links. I do get quite a bit of response which makes me hope that it’s helping dilute some of the misinformation rolling past me on my screen.
I can dream, right?
This is an example of an “antidote” link and I have shared it on Facebooger.
Kiese Laymon, the author, has disowned the headline (which he did not write). But the article underneath it is amazing. Laymon goes to his grandmother (whom we have met before in his writing) to talk to her about the recent killings in Charleston of 9 black people in a prayer meeting.
Her words and his writing are important to read and think about at this time in the US. I have been giving in to a small bit of hope that something might actually be changing around the issue of institutional racism especially as evidenced by some discussion and change in our warped imprisonment of so many black men.
I haven’t finished this one, but it’s another one I passed along on social media.