Partisans are Lethal


Farhad Manjoo, in the chapters fifth and sixth of his book ‘True Enough- Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society’, explained that we people have created the system/channels through which propagandists are driving the “naive realism” and we are enjoying it. People pretend that they want to listen reality, but they don’t know or perhaps don’t want to confess that they are already biased and this biasness prevent them to accept reality. People skim different creams with different taste from same milk and possess a rigid opinion. You may find your cream bitter at the same time others find it sweet and then you interpret that other people are false because they are not in accord you are. And this leads to new salesman in the market, the market that had only one salesman with sweet cream, now have two salesmen with different tastes and it runs very well, because salesmen find viable market and greater customer satisfaction.

To explain my understanding on how we perceive ourselves right and others wrong in the same situation, I want to extend Lee Ross’s example on the term “fundamental attribution error”. If you are standing in a long line outside the pharmacy and impatiently waiting for your turn to reach the counter, then you see a man comes and go directly to the counter and get his medicine. You curse him badly for his rude behavior because there are many who are already standing in line; he is such a bad guy. Time passed, one day you are in hurry and want some medicine and reached at the same pharmacy. What you see is that there is long line from the counter and it may take an hour to reach the counter if you follow the line. You convince yourself that you are in hurry and then without a second thought, go directly the counter and get your medicine. You feel no guilty because whatever you did, it was due to emergency. The time ago, you had not got such feelings, but now you got because now it’s about you.

The above example may connect to “particularized trust” and “generalized trust”, Farhad Manjoo described in epilogue. By proving yourself that you are right, may result the ignorance of the trust that surrounds you. In the above example, you convinced yourself that you were right by not following the line because you had an emergency, but you neglected that there were some folks in the line who might had emergency same as you or more than you. You are ignorant of a lot that justifies truth. We should bend from our biased opinion and think about “reality” that makes better systems for smooth running of a society.

One may think, what is wrong with current propaganda if we are getting easily what we want. The worst thing about these fake news is that they obscure reality. If you put a label saying poison on a bottle holding honey in it, it doesn’t change the honey into poison, but it does change its perception to honey seekers. Someone become starved of honey despite of having abundant. So, consider wisely and prevent the rise of propagandists for the sake of future generations.


2 thoughts on “Partisans are Lethal

  1. Linking this back with Pigg’s article on the rise of internet writers, I think that is the exact problem with the fake news and propaganda we are presented with and the attempts to stop it. In the case a story is just insanely biased, it isn’t necessarily fake news so won’t be removed. Click bait and fake news however are all too easy to fabricate, so that’ll make it police the web for these fake stories. But the difference between the two is decided by who? The very people that the authors seek to influence?


  2. I think your example of the pharmacy really gets at how stories can be biased and how those biased are justified because if someone reporting the news thinks they are in the right, they are going to use specific tactics of shaping the narrative in order to try and get people to buy in. This reminds me of a lot of sensationalized stories that you come across online that try and get people to buy in to a specific point of view. They try and connect with the emotional side of a reader and use that to get them to change their mind, or get them to buy in more. These stories are fake, but in the creator’s mind perhaps they justify it through the lens of thinking the overall idea is right so as Oprah said in the book, “it’s true enough”. The fact of it being false isn’t the point, but the point is that someone connected with it. I think this is a really troubling thing, but I can see how people might view things this way.


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