Jun. 7th, 2017

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Typically, people substitute their own thinking with trust. There are two basic types of trust: verification and prior experience. Verification is cognitively expensive; therefore we fall back on prior experience, i.e. intuition. In a social networking environment, this leads to reinforcement of personal and group biases because, given the rapid flow of content, one's own thinking and verification become prohibitively expensive.
Since its beginning, the web had a similar problem, which Google solved by incorporating prior experience (links) into its page rank algorithm. [is the rise of partisanship a side effect of the web?] Over time, we've learned to trust Google. Furthermore, if we go back in time we find a similar pattern with other media: newspapers, radio, TV, books, etc. Essentially, mainstream media represent networks of trust embedded into information flows.
So far, social media companies have failed to create an independent system of trust. Maybe because we use the new media for bias confirmation, not so much for information gathering. Although, the Belling Cat example shows that the latter is not only possible, but can be more efficient than traditional methods of investigation. Tyler Cowen has a good argument that under the circumstance an autistic person has a better chance to succeed than a socially adjusted one.
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A historical document: Comey's written statement on his interactions with the head of the Covfefe administration. https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/documents/os-jcomey-060817.pdf


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