Know-It-All Society: Truth and Arrogance in Political Culture
Date: August 2019
Duration: 4 hours 42 minutes
Taking stock of our fragmented political landscape, Michael Patrick Lynch delivers a trenchant philosophical take on digital culture and its tendency to make us into dogmatic know-it-alls. The internet-where most shared news stories are not even read by the person posting them-has contributed to the rampant spread of 'intellectual arrogance.' In this culture, we have come to think that we have nothing to learn from one another; we are rewarded for emotional outrage over reflective thought; and we glorify a defensive rejection of those different from us.
Interweaving the works of classic philosophers such as Hannah Arendt and Bertrand Russell and imposing them on a cybernetic future they could not have possibly even imagined, Lynch delves deeply into three core ideas that explain how we've gotten to the way we are: our natural tendency to be overconfident in our knowledge; the tribal politics that feed off our tendency; and the way the outrage factory of social media spreads those politics of arrogance and blind conviction. In addition to identifying an ascendant 'know-it-all-ism' in our culture, Lynch offers practical solutions for how we might start reversing this dangerous trend.