Inoculating The Public From The Fake News And Pseudoscience Crisis

Yes, it is time to inoculate the public to fake news and pseudoscience! This is important research, and we need to be supporting it. As a nation that is supposed to be the more educated and scientifically relevant in the world, we have got to get the general public aware of what is real news and what is fake news, and of what is objective and substantiated science and what is religion pretending to be science.

As a country, we would not have a stolen election and an illegitimately elected 45th president right now – whose administration is filled with climate deniers and believers in pseudoscience over real science, if we had acted as a People a lot sooner to combat “fake news” and religious myth masquerading in the clothing and words of objective scientific research. It’s called inoculating the public against deliberately spread misinformation for the political and financial gain of a select few within society.

#ResistTrump #UnitedWeStand #FakeNews #ClimateDenial

“In medicine we can try to build resistance to infections by injecting people with a weakened strain of the virus or small dose of the virus that will trigger antibodies in people’s immune system to confer resistance. The attitudinal theory of inoculation is exactly the same — in the sense that what we try to do is pre-expose people to a bit of the misinformation… then debunk that information with specific facts. This process helps arm people with what I call a cognitive repertoire to resist basically future encounters with misinformation. That’s the basic idea… We see that we can incrementally protect people’s beliefs about science, through inoculation.” – Dr Sander van der Linden

Fake news’ power to influence shrinks with a contextual warning, study finds
What surprised the researchers most about the results of the study? Firstly how powerful misinformation can be, says van der Linden, but also — on the positive side — that ‘inoculating’ people against misinformation can be effective even if a person has an entrenched prior viewpoint.
“I didn’t anticipate that the misinformation would be so overwhelming for people,” he says. “I would have anticipated that the misinformation would have some influence — but not that it would cancel out the facts completely. I think that was quite surprising and also quite concerning, in some way, that people are paying so much attention to this idea of balance. And it’s tricky for people because they don’t know what the sources are, and how credible each side of the debate is — so it is difficult.”
“Similarly we weren’t sure if inoculating people, depending on their prior position, is going to be effective because some people might already have certain prior beliefs — and we were surprised by the fact that on average the inoculation worked well, regardless of what your affiliation or your prior beliefs were. This is not to say there aren’t individuals in the study for whom it didn’t work — and similarly vaccines work for most people but they can’t guarantee they work for everyone — so I would say that’s very much the same here too. But we were surprised that it worked across the board — and that is quite promising.”
Asked about the global challenge posted by the propagation of misinformation, van der Linden is also relatively upbeat — pointing out that misinformation is nothing new, even though the popularity of social media platforms has led to an amping up of the fake news volume in recent years.

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Joseph T Farkasdi

I am a writer, a husband, a father, a working servant, a complex individual who very few will probably understand! I am actively involved in raising the awareness of social injustice in this world caused by religious idealism and intolerance and the rise of an economic destroying corporatocracy. Take a moment to explore and learn more about me. Thanks!

3 thoughts on “Inoculating The Public From The Fake News And Pseudoscience Crisis”

  1. Wake Up, America, The Constitution Needs You

    We all need to keep something in mind as a nation, as our nation’s illegitimately elected human Orangutan* continues his strategic racially motivated attack to wipe out all things Barack Hussein Obama achieved – without anything on the table to replace it with (ACA, TPP, CAP, ?DACA?). Petty, and – Sad! (Wasn’t his birther conspiracy enough?)… And, in his thin-skinned Chimpanzee-like fashion, continues to throw temper tantrums at the press for not helping him remold his image before America into the delusional image he has of himself… And, as the Evangelical-Alt-Right religious and political leaders, American bankers and oil moguls, and the Republican party en masse kneels and worships before him as their hoped for savior of gaining a true politically dominating foothold on America’s government – to impose their selective minority visions of America upon everyone. As a nation, we need to keep something firmly in mind, we need to share it with each other often – very often, and we need to fervently teach it to our children both at home and in our schools. We are a nation based upon a People’s constitution that says up front:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

    This constitution decree does not say “all men” is referring to just white men, or white evangelical Christian men, or only rich men, or only politically power men, or only heterosexual men. This constitution decree that starts our nation’s constitution says that “all men” are created equal – regardless their race, their religion, their orientation, whether they have a disability or not – and – all these men are endowed within the governance of this country’s constitution with certain unalienable rights. The rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It does not say that some men in this country, because they don’t subscribe to the theology and morals of the dominant religion in America, must sacrifice their unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of their happiness all to preserve the sensitivities of those who subscribe to religion’s that finds such pursuits offensive.

    The constitution of our United States of America protects the right of every citizen to live out their “unalienable rights” side-by-side with everyone else. The realization of these “Creator” “endowed” way-of-life by each and every citizen of the United States in public areas of society is the foundation to a democratic society, along with our separation of church and state clauses to prevent a theocratic or autocratic rise in the United States of America. No group has the constitutional right to deny to some in public places of this nation these freedoms granted by the United States constitution, but within your “churches” the constitution allows you to have your discriminatory and bigoted beliefs and ways.

    Now, to be fair, “all men” means all humans, not just men alone within the United States that have these unalienable rights. With the rise of the women’s movement in the United States in demand for women’s rights, this statement of “all men” was clearly decided upon by this nation as meaning that all “men and women” are created equal in the eyes of our People’s constitution. And, no political power and no religion has the constitutional right to deny this of any citizen of the United States. We must, by our nation’s constitution, respect these unalienable rights that are granted, even when others live in a way that offends our religious or political sensitivities. The only time we have right to interfere with others unalienable rights is when there is literally and objectively demonstrable harm to be had to the greater public by allowing such behaviors to continue.

    As these Trump worshipers and political opportunists attempt to nullify the unalienable rights granted to us by the United States constitution, through discriminatory law-making that strips freedoms and imposes limits to freedoms for anyone not of a select religious or social class, we must as a nation of citizens together #Resist them. If we are indeed patriotic citizens, we will resist the #GOP, #ChristianRight, #AltRight, #GoldmanSachs, #ExxonMobil takeover of the United States of America’s federal government. We simply must, or we *will* lose our “unalienable rights” to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” in the United States of America. #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote

    Matters of Size
    White House press secretary Sean Spicer said that Donald Trump’s inauguration was the most viewed in history, but that claim is unsubstantiated.
    Simply unproven. Here are the demonstrable self-evident facts.

    “Liar, liar, pants on fire. Only hatred you inspire.” Washington, D.C. – Man with a long-nosed Donald Trump mask on protests against the new President of the United States on Friday night.

    *- Just for the record, all of us human Sapiens are a primate upon this land, the most aggressive and violent and insensitive primate species this earth has ever known. We try our best to elevate our primal nature with our fictive human imagined myths and beliefs of our religions and approaches to nationalism, but we have yet to evolve enough as a species to truly achieve this ‘better selves’ in this world. I hope we eventually get it worked out and know what peace, compassion, and understanding really mean within this world.

  2. “How do you cause people to believe in an imagined order such as Christianity, democracy or capitalism? First, you never admit that the order is imagined. You always insist that the order sustaining society is an objective reality (an absolute) created by the great gods or by the laws of nature. People are unequal, not because Hammurabi said so, but because (the gods) Enlil and Marduk decreed it. People are equal, not because Thomas Jefferson said so, but because (Deism’s) God created them that way (and “endowed” them with certain “unalienable rights”). Free markets are the best economic system, not because Adam Smith said so, but because these are the immutable laws of nature. You also educate people thoroughly. From the moment they are born, you constantly remind them of the principles of the imagined order, which are incorporated into anything and everything (we socially experience). They are incorporated into fairy tales, dramas, paintings, songs, etiquette, political propaganda, architecture, recipes and fashions… It follows that in order to change an existing imagined order, we must first believe in an alternative (more powerful/empowering) imagined order.” – Yuval Noah Harari, ‘The Prison Walls’, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, added (clarifying text) are mine.

    In America we are taught to believe in the human imagined social/national order defined by the United States constitution. But, sadly for many of us, we’re taught to believe in our nation’s constitution from the perspective of our community’s religious tradition, that often re-envisions what this constitution is saying to fit and justify the imagined order of theological absolutes provided by our religion. This has been especially so throughout America for the last seventy years. Conflicting religious ideology with constitutional ideology is one of the greatest causes of political partisanship and of social imbalance within our democratic society. For constitutional democracy to survive, we must keep it separate from the influence of religious theology and its nature to impose theocracy upon a populous. Our failure to do this is what brought about the conditions for the rise of an illegitimately elected president with a nature bent towards establishing his autocracy upon the United States of America. If we value our constitutional democracy, then we must #Resist non-stop the Wall-Street-Evangelical-Alt-Right take over of our Executive branch of government in every socially progressive and legal way possible. #ResistTrump #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #WomensMarch #NationalPopularVote

  3. Equality is an imagined reality, which makes it a socially constructed illusion. Who defines the illusion of equality? The answer to this determines who experiences the social benefits of equality. #Equality #EmpoweringWomen #WomensMarch #Indivisible #UnitedWeStand #NoDAPL #BlackLivesMatter #ResistTrump #Resist 

    You Are Not Equal. I’m Sorry.
    Say thank you. Say thank you to the women who gave you a voice. Say thank you to the women who were arrested and imprisoned and beaten and gassed for you to have a voice. Say thank you to the women who refused to back down, to the women who fought tirelessly to give you a voice. Say thank you to the women who put their lives on hold, who –lucky for you — did not have “better things to do” than to march and protest and rally for your voice. So you don’t feel like a “second class citizen.” So you get to feel “equal.”

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