Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Poisoning of the Human Mind

Jerry Seinfeld Duke commencement speech

 The Poisoning of the American Mind, Lawrence M. Eppard – [excerpt] “Humans are hard-wired to look for information that they agree with (regardless of the information’s veracity), avoid information that makes them uncomfortable (even if that information is true), and interpret information in a manner that is most favorable to their sense of self. 

The damage these cognitive tendencies cause to one’s perception of reality depends in part upon the information that a person surrounds himself/herself with. Unfortunately, in the U.S. today, both liberals and conservatives are regularly bombarded with misleading information as well as lies from people they believe to be trustworthy and authoritative sources. While there are several factors one could plausibly blame for this predicament, the decline in the quality of the sources of information that the right and left rely on over the last few decades plays a primary role. 

As a result of this decline, we are faced with an epistemic crisis that is poisoning the American mind and threatening our democracy. In his forthcoming book with Jacob L. Mackey, The Poisoning of the American Mind, Lawrence M. Eppard explores epistemic problems in both the right-wing and left-wing ideological silos in the U.S., including ideology presented as fact, misinformation, disinformation, and malinformation. What follows is an excerpt from that book, due out in early 2024 from George Mason University Press.”

Watch our new documentary below, The Poisoning of the American Mind, from the Connors Institute at Shippensburg University

Washington Post [link is free to read]: “Your vibrant green lawn may look lush, but it’s actually an ecological wasteland. “The idea for that ideal lawn is that nothing else can live in it,” said David Mizejewski, a naturalist with the National Wildlife Federation, a nonprofit conservation organization. “It’s like a dense, eternally green carpet.”

 As our communities have taken over wild lands, this trimmed turf has spread over tens of millions of acresacross the United States, displacing native plants and leaving butterflies, birds and bees with fewer places to feed, rest and nest. As a result, their populations have plummeted. But let your grass grow a few inches, and some of that wildlife starts coming back. This is the idea behind the “no mow” movement, a push across the United States and Britain to stop the use of herbicides, pesticides and gas-guzzling mowers during the month of May. It’s a good first step, but there’s plenty you can do to make your yard more inviting to pollinators and other critters. Here’s how…”

What actually happens within your lawn when you don’t mow it - Washington Post