The constitution of knowledge
Wed Dec 09, 2020 · 171 words

Jonathan Rauch’s The Constitution of Knowledge (National Affairs) opened my eyes to how we know what we know.

Here are the top 10 points I got from his article:

  1. Social epistemology is about our public understanding of objective reality.
  2. Reality-making was decentralized away from authoritarian control.
  3. This decentralized community relies on free speech and social testing.
  4. Decentralizing our understanding of reality gives us freedom of thought.
  5. The decentralized community must agree on how objective reality is proven (and can disagree on everything else).
  6. Disinformation tries to tear down socially validated reality.
  7. The epistemic honor code says that objective truth exists, truth-finding should be impersonal, credentials matter and knowledge should always be tested.
  8. Disinformation became weaponized (Russia election interference), profitable (social media) and impossible to ignore (top politicians cannot be ignored).
  9. Creating knowledge is a professional, structured and disciplined process.
  10. Institutions that create knowledge should be fixed not disregarded and thrown out.

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See also

  1. Information-action fallacy
  2. How disinformation hacks your brain
  3. Judging truth
  4. Wanna bet?
  5. American abyss

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