Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This is a few days old but I want to make sure this item does not get lost in the shuffle. The idea here is that people have a natural 'set point' that they drift back to - new information, for example, is not likely to change one's core beliefs, which is (partially) why you cannot simply appeal to reason and evidence to (say) persuade a person to quit smoking. The purpose of misinformation, suggests Mike Caulfield, is to shift this set point in both individuals and society, so that we redefine what's reasonable and expected. Gradually, over time, trust in media or elections can be undermined,not by a single article, but through a constant barrage of background noise that gradually hifts our trust levels. This concept arises in other areas - the idea of the Overton Window, for example, or the propaganda technique of the Big Lie.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Sept 25, 2023 12:15 p.m.

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