The United States is being overrun by a wave of anti-science, anti-intellectual thinking. Has the most important, powerful nation on Earth lost its mind?
While 82 per cent of Americans now say they seek out news digitally, the quality of the information they’re getting is suspect.
An aversion to complexity—at least when communicating with the public—can also be seen in the types of answers politicians now provide the media. The average length of a sound bite by a presidential candidate in 1968 was 42.3 seconds. Two decades later, it was 9.8 seconds. Today, it’s just a touch over seven seconds and well on its way to being supplanted by 140-character Twitter bursts.
Little wonder then that distrust—of leaders, institutions, experts, and those who report on them—is rampant.
Instead of educating themselves via the Internet, most people simply use it to validate what they already suspect, wish or believe to be true.
Facing complex choices, uncertain about the consequences of the alternatives, and tasked with balancing the demands of jobs, family and the things that truly interest them with boring policy debates, people either cast their ballots reflexively, or not at all.