“Like” buttons

Speedmaster, at the Pretense of Knowledge, points out Bill Clinton’s support for an agency to “do something about misinformation” floating about on the web.  In other words, he wants a centralized and corruptible version of the Like button.

I’m willing to bet that Clinton couldn’t understand how Like buttons could be more effective (though not absolutely perfect) than such an agency.  I can imagine that he would argue that such an agency would be able to assemble experts that would do better than the everyman Like.

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4 thoughts on ““Like” buttons

  1. Seth:

    Here is a question for you and Speedmaster to ponder: what function does misinformation play –or- stated alternatively, does misinformation have a role?

    Totally agree with you regarding the “like button”. Moreover, would the “like button” really be the erase button in certain circumstances? That is, what if you dislike the truth and erase the truth in favor of misinformation? Conversely, you like misinformation and hence block the truth. Could it be that Clinton’s idea is very, very Orwellian?

    • Very Orwellian. It gets right to the name of Speedmaster’s site: The Pretense of Knowledge.

      It would be nice if misinformation was filtered out, but one man’s misinformation is another man’s truth. Take the simple phrase: “tax cuts for the rich”. I’d love it if it didn’t exist. Many people stop at that and make their decision. But, somehow, I don’t think any agency that Clinton would staff would consider that misinformation.

      I think the best antidote for misinformation is the encouragement and teaching of critical thinking and open-mindedness. Perhaps we should start an agency for that.

  2. I like how this really gets to the point of pretence of knowledge. What is truth and what is fact? Im of the view that there are very very few facts and truths. Everything is viewed through a lens of subjectivity.
    Take mathematics. Numbers dont lie but what you get out all depends on the assumptions made in the beginning. Garbage in equals garbage out, so if you make a really horrible assumption to start, all you get out is crap. But at least the math looks pretty rightm

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