This past weekend the Sunday Review from the New York Times declared the past ten years as the “Decade of Mistrust” and suggested that “Americans learned that they shouldn’t believe anyone or anything.” This rise in mistrust seems connected to the rise of bullshit too – and so it felt like a fitting theme for my first post of the new year.
But this doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Non-Obvious thinkers aren’t afraid of bullshit. We see it all the time and have learned to be strategically skeptical. And in this new year, the world needs more of us to have this mindset.
It all starts with maintaining a healthy skepticism and this week there were several stories that might have inspired more need for this skepticism than usual. Here are a few …
Why All Those Neflix “Most Popular” Lists Might Be Bullsh*t
Are Netflix’s recommendations really based on unbiased algorithms and numbers, or are they rigged in favor of the platform’s own original productions? This exploration from Gizmodo takes a deeper look at some of the platforms picks for “best of the year” – and finds some suspicious choices. Read this exposé and decide for yourself.
New Pew Report On Media Trust In The Age of Trump
This latest report from Pew looks at the relationship between political beliefs and faith in journalism and finds some interesting parallels between those beliefs and how much people believe in the media itself. It is disturbing, though, just how eroded trust in the media has become – partially through shoddy work but perhaps even more because of authoritarian leaders and manipulative politicians who aim to benefit from the distrust.
11 Trends Changing the Way We Read
While the eleven points in this article aren’t what I would call “trends” – they are interesting observations of how the way that we read and what we read has been shifting. From movie adaptations of film to the rise of activist books for children, there are some interesting shifts happening in how we read and this article will give you more than one to get your mind racing.