A Crisis of Healthy Skepticism

From Axios, on “The raging trust crisis and its consequences”:

A majority of people around the world believe that journalists, government leaders and business leaders are all purposely trying to mislead people by spreading misinformation. Most people have terrible information hygiene, and admit that they don’t actively verify information, avoid echo chambers or share things without first vetting information.

What I find fascinating is that today, verifying information is often as simple as a 15-second Google search. You don’t have to do any substantial research in order to debunk false memes. Someone has already done the debunking for you. All you have to do is find the right article at a reputable news organization or the right page on Snopes or PolitiFact.

When I was a fundamentalist, we never took advantage of that 15 seconds to verify, or disconfirm, information in a way that could challenge our pre-existing beliefs. But that is the nature of fundamentalist dogma. We didn’t want to challenge those beliefs. Under those circumstances, I remember it being very easy not to spend 15 seconds on Google to pull up correct-but-challenging information about incorrect beliefs.

But I’m fascinated that in the general caseā€¦ I guess people are just lazy.