Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Agnotology: Ignorance is Power

Staff Writer, DL Mullan
Ignorance / Confusion 

Are you confused about world events? politics? public policy? You are not alone. Governments and corporations employ tactics  to keep the public discourse and political landscape on uneven ground for power and profit:
Agnotology is the study of wilful acts to spread confusion and deceit, usually to sell a product or win favour
In the article: The Man who Studies the Spread of Ignorance*, we learn how and why this wilful spread of ignorance is so important to the criminal mind.
“I was exploring how powerful industries could promote ignorance to sell their wares. Ignorance is power… and agnotology is about the deliberate creation of ignorance.

“In looking into agnotology, I discovered the secret world of classified science, and thought historians should be giving this more attention.” 
But this spread of ignorance and confusion happens in more than the commercial sphere, it happens in the political one as well:
Proctor explains that ignorance can often be propagated under the guise of balanced debate. For example, the common idea that there will always be two opposing views does not always result in a rational conclusion. This was behind how tobacco firms used science to make their products look harmless, and is used today by climate change deniers to argue against the scientific evidence.

“This ‘balance routine’ has allowed the cigarette men, or climate deniers* today, to claim that there are two sides to every story, that ‘experts disagree’ – creating a false picture of the truth, hence ignorance.”
Have you been in the middle of this type of agnotology? It is more common than you realize. 

If you want to keep ahead of the spread of ignorance, then be sure to fact check everything you see, hear, and read. 

The truth is out there.

*Oh and by the way, BBC, there is no climate change based on facts and science. So in your article cited above you allowed two different types of agnotological references to create fallacies in your argument, but good try anyway.

Source: BBC