: New: Book Report: Republic of Lies

This book explores some recent hoaxes and fake news, concentrating on stories that got gullible folks to take political action. (Does blundering around with a rifle count as "political action"? Maybe. Anyhow.) Though I'd bumped into these hoaxes and hoaxters in the news, this book pointed out some trends I hadn't picked up on.

E.g., dummies who fell for one hoax fall for other hoaxes. There's bad news and good news here. The bad news: loons don't admit they were wrong; they just stop following one piece of fake news and move on to the next. The good news: if you thought that umpty-ump thousand Americans believed in pizzagate and another umpty-ump thousand Americans believe in QAnon, you'd think a lot of Americans were really gullible; but there's a lot of overlap between those dummies.

It was kind of spooky to read about how such a large fraction of Swedish folks prefer non-mainstream news at the same time that Sweden was Leroy Jenkinsing COVID-19, letting many many citizens die because maybe the disease wasn't going to be that dangerous somehow?

Tags: book

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