“Don’t Go Down The Rabbit Hole” – NYTimes Decries Critical Thinking, Tells Americans To Trust Google Instead
A newarticle from the New York Timesclaims that instead of engaging with someone that challenges your worldview, you should “resist the lure of Rabbit Holes” and go to more authoritative sources such as Google and Wikipedia.
The New York Times appears to have declared war on traditional critical thinking, which they say “isn’t helping in the fight against misinformation”.
Sharing the insights of “a digital literacy expert” named Michael Caulfield, the article reads as follows:
“We’re taught that, in order to protect ourselves from bad information, we need to deeply engage with the stuff that washes up in front of us,” Mr. Caulfield told me recently. He suggested that the dominant mode of media literacy (if kids get taught any at all) is that “you’ll get imperfect information and then use reasoning to fix that somehow. But in reality, that strategy can completely backfire.”
In other words: Resist the lure of rabbit holes, in part, by reimagining media literacy for the internet hellscape we occupy.
Caulfield argues that the best way to learn about a source of information is to “leave it and look elsewhere”, by seeing how that source of information measures up to the existing status quo.
For further clarification, the New York Times’ “digital literacy expert” provides us with an example by investigating a post (which they do not offer any link to) made by Robert F Kennedy Jr on Instagram:
He copied Mr. Kennedy’s name in the Instagram post and popped it intoGoogle. “Look how fast this is,” he told me as he counted the seconds out loud.In 15 seconds, he navigated toWikipediaand scrolled through the introductory section of the page, highlighting with his cursor the last sentence, which reads that Mr. Kennedy is an anti-vaccine activist and a conspiracy theorist.
In short, the New York Times and their “expert” are telling us that instead of investigating the claims of someone that challenges the status quo and our understanding and perception of reality, we should instead avoid them and go directly to the authorities to tell us what to think.