Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Lalala, not listening

The shroud of Turin is a fake, proven so by radiometric dating. This story, even though it's skeptical, fails to mention this proof. Instead, it merely points out how different the 2000-year-old shroud (not of Jesus) is from the forgery.

These new facts won't change many minds, if any. We live in an age when many people are immune to new learning. Nothing can convince them to change their beliefs. Nothing. They chose what they believe. They didn't reason about it. They won't reason about it now.

People like this have been common throughout history. I don't have evidence (and could be argued out of this belief), but I don't think there's any reason to believe that unreason is significantly more represented in the population now than in other eras.

The difference, I think, is that unreason is now a market, a segment of the population that will self-identify and provide access to its assets for the harvesting of profit. The prevalence of stupidity may not have changed, but its influence has grown markedly because mass marketing has given way to narrow, segmented marketing.

And, of course, stupidity is not that narrow a demographic.

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