Expert opinions matter, especially when their knowledge is continuously refined by critical analysis.
- Fringe groups are fusing together via social media. The result? People with world views that are founded on a myriad of conspiracy beliefs.
- In Jesse Walker's The United States of Paranoia he classifies four different types of paranoid thinking that have occurred throughout America's history: Enemies outside, enemies within, enemies above, and enemies below.
- We need to be picky about our sources of information and trust expertise — that is, trust people whose life work is enmeshed in a particular subject.
The internet has given us the opportunity to stay informed better than ever. It's also given us the ability to misinform ourselves — delude ourselves — beyond belief.
- The internet has allowed fringe groups founded on paranoid thinking to merge in ways we've never seen before.
- Part of modern political polarization in American is that we're becoming a people who believes in different realities, some of which are based on fears rather than facts. Many of these conspiracy theories are targeted on groups that we believe are plotting against us.
- There is a romanticization that we're going to somehow solve all of life's unknowns, Da Vinci Code-style. However, this ironically may put us at a disadvantage in terms of breaking puzzles — we look for the familiar in vague stimuli, a pheonmenon known as pareidolia, which only further confounds us.