Out with Outrage

Why Are We So Angry?

You are one of the first generations of the hyper-media age, an age where every second of the day some story is coming at you from all corners of the globe. Some as short as a tweet and others long reads, streaming series and documentary films. Content of every kind from every angle is available to you. Strangely enough you aren’t likely to see much more than a small slice of what’s out there, thanks to the algorithms serving you up the things that you tend to pay attention to most.

And what is most likely to get our attention — OUTRAGE!

Can you believe what “they” have done now? Outrage has replaced fear as the go to button to push in the attention economy. And we all fall for it from time to time.

But if you are paying attention, it’s clear that you are being manipulated. My question is: to what end? To be more compliant? To “raise arms” and fight? Or perhaps more cynically, to have you stick around and get our advertisers to give us more dollars?

The cost has been civility, civil discourse, political progress (right or left), and the ability for us, day-to-day, to make sense of the world. When a writer aims to manipulate, facts are cherry picked or manufactured to match his or her point of view. These “facts” end up in the spin cycle and build credibility by repetition. Unfortunately, the facts that are at the extremes of a view, the ones that are least likely to be accurate or truthful get the most attention. Middle of the road facts with lots of consensus usually don’t cause outrage and thus aren’t very useful for manipulation.

With all of this noise we can no longer make sense of the world. If you can’t make sense of the world, you can’t make good choices about life, community, or governance.

The good news is that there are a number of projects launching now that aim to make good sense. Our colleagues at the Consilience Project are one example. They aim to catalyze a movement towards better sense making. And they have an amazing team working to analyze information for veracity and accuracy.

We at PROOF are working to bring you specific news about the viable future. Our angle is to report on promising projects, movements, technologies, future visions and leading edge thinkers who are pointing the way to a thriving future.

Why do we do this?

Because we want to inspire and support YOU to take Bold Action to build a world that works for all.

That is what Bold.ly NOW is all about. Please join us and let’s rock a thriving future!

Check out the rest of this issue of PROOF here: https://proofzine.com/2021/04/06/proof-22/

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