Base Camp is where visitors go to relax, unwind, and get familiar with an anthology of earlier material.

The Backfire Effect

People love evidence as long as it proves what they want it to prove

Warning: this is a non-academic, irreverent, op-ed article. If you think you might be offended by it, don’t read it. Do something non-offensive instead, like support things in spite of the overwhelming evidence against them.

The Backfire Effect: how people — especially the old or indoctrinated, but also a surprising number of the young — tend to remember only what suits them, using the evidence against something to mis-remember it in ways that, you guessed it, suits them!

Happy resurrection!

Because it really happened that way.

And no, climate change isn’t real.

And who said anything about the rise of surveillance intelligence across the globe? It’s hearsay, hogwash!

And Islam is a force for peace around the world. Just look at all its idyllic countries and cultures, and how beautifully its various sects are getting along, and how well things have turned out for the hundreds of millions of people under the authority of those who use Islam to govern over others with impunity, how the faith has been abused because it hasn’t given in to a necessary reformation that would allow it to adapt to the times and let its adherents thrive rather than suffer the whims of those who’ve taken charge in the name of the ‘unassailable.’

And Christianity is a religion of compassion. It preaches the word of Christ, advocating the power of spirit above material wealth. And hasn’t led to devastating wars and genocide in the name of peace, salvation, the divine, and other abstract terms, and is not abusing its power. It, too, is a force for peace.

And so is organized religion in general, a force for good that renders the world stronger and more robust, safer and full of wonder.

And Stalin was the people’s advocate and protector, as were Lenin and Hugo Chavez.

And the EU is the definitive solution to the European tradition of war and conflict.

And feminism is not about misandry nowadays — and men are not idiot oafs who think and act with their dicks.

And life on Earth is doing fine. The technology to lift humanity out of poverty is there, all one needs is a chance, the right circumstances. Humanity is doing just fine, on the right track.

And football is a great sport. None of its games are rigged. It’s amazing to watch a game and get excited over the choices made behind closed doors by mob bosses, bought players and blackmailed referees.

Cool, isn’t it? If people are prone to self-inflicted misinformation, might as well mix everything up and let them screw themselves over. See who ends up remembering what, based on their prejudices and needs. It makes for a fun future. Because you know you’re right, till time proves you wrong.



PS – According to the experts on misinformation, when you debunk a myth, you create a gap in the person’s mind. To be effective, the debunking must fill that gap.

I don’t want to fill that gap. I want people to retain their illusions and disregard all the evidence. I want them to keep believing what they believe in so I can watch them screw things up. I want the rot in their heads to advance enough to destroy the entire setup, at which time everything will burn, leaving behind open ground and fertile ash, from which a new intelligence will rise.

Happy resurrection! (See how it works?)

From the collection of writings EON: THE ANGRY COMING OF AGE

For more on the Backfire Effect, click here and here.