Epistemic Closure Watch, Ctd

A recent Pew survey showed a sharp ideological divide in media consumption. Nyhan disputes these findings: [H]ave the predictions of widespread media echo chambers really come true? It’s hard to tell using questions like Pew’s, which ask people to self-report where they get their news. People can be biased in what outlets they choose to name or forgetful … Continue reading Epistemic Closure Watch, Ctd

Epistemic Closure Watch

Pew looks at how conservatives and liberals consume their news: When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. There is little overlap in the news sources they turn to and trust. And whether discussing politics online or with friends, they are more likely than others to interact with like-minded … Continue reading Epistemic Closure Watch

Epistemic Closure Watch

The decline of conservative periodicals is continuing – first went the Hoover Institute’s Policy Review, and now Reagan’s old favorite, Human Events, is also folding. Jacob Heilbrunn suspects that the faltering publications on the right are symptoms of its fundamental confusion: Younger, more aggressive conservative websites have captured much of the audience that might once have thronged to … Continue reading Epistemic Closure Watch

Epistemic Closure Watch

On a daily basis, the Andrew Breitbart family of Web sites posts a lot of poorly researched, badly reasoned commentary on all sorts of subjects, all crafted to flatter the ideological prejudices of the audience. Take Big Government, where a recent post bemoaned the fact that Nevada is one of the western states that is receiving money to help restore salmon populations.

Hmm…Last time we checked, Nevada was landlocked and didn’t remotely touch the Pacific Ocean or any of the tributaries of the Columbia River (which run extensively through Idaho.) Now, how would Nevada get to be eligible for grants to protect the Pacific Salmon. Do the fish have a gambling addiction?

Well, no, actually. The reason, in this case, is that Nevada long enjoyed access to Pacific salmon, as anyone can discover by spending less than a minute on Google. That's how long it took The Dish to come across this informative article:

Epistemic Closure Watch

David Frum's piece in the NYT magazine is well worth your time – about as elegant and as devastating a critique of current Republicanism as you can find in one place. This is where he challenges the most:

Too often, conservatives dupe themselves. They wrap themselves in closed information systems based upon pretend information. In this closed information system, banks can collapse without injuring the rest of the economy, tax cuts always pay for themselves and Congressional earmarks cause the federal budget deficit. Even the market collapse has not shaken some conservatives out of their closed information system. It enfolded them more closely within it.

This is how to understand the Glenn Beck phenomenon.

Epistemic Closure Watch: God And Google

Habiba Nosheen reports on the rise of religious search engines, which can filter out inappropriate websites like porn but also tailor results in very specific ways: Shea Houdmann runs SeekFind, a Colorado Springs-based Christian search engine that only returns results from websites that are consistent with the Bible. He says SeekFind is designed "to promote what … Continue reading Epistemic Closure Watch: God And Google