"How we think about "knowledge" is in flux. The convergence of polarized culture and fractured media remakes political discourse on an industrial scale. An internet connection provides access to staggering amounts of information, but not nearly as many tools and strategies for transforming information into knowledge. But it’s also true that mastery of a given body of knowledge now is further beyond what the average person knows about that subject than ever before. Thus, expertise may not have the same social value for the average citizen it once enjoyed. Because we’re encouraged to cling to the belief that it does, we now worship a handful of internet barons, political technocrats, financial moguls, and spiritual gurus, all of them peddling easy paths to enlightenment through virtues manufactured to serve their agendas."
"Two posts on the board criticizing Microsoft diversity initiatives as “discriminatory hiring” and suggesting that women are less suited for engineering roles have elicited more than 800 comments, both affirming and criticizing the viewpoints, multiple Microsoft employees have told Quartz. The posts were written by a female Microsoft program manager. Quartz reached out to her directly for comment, and isn’t making her name public at this point, pending her response."
"The American Left uses “conspiracy theory” to dismiss news and narratives it doesn’t like much in the way the American Right uses “fake news.” Other eras would’ve considered this a bug, but at this moment it’s a feature of the mainstream and alternative news and opinion cycle. Aristotle’s observation that “the more we know the more we don’t know” helps to explain why too often conspiracy theories fill in the gaps of what we don’t know...and sometimes of what we think we know. The prevalence of conspiracy theory in a time of unparalleled information abundance reveals deep anxieties that Enlightenment inspired values such as truth and opinion supported by facts and argument aren’t working as well as they once did. This examination of different ways to think about conspiracy theory is an effort in the fight against the most unfortunate trend in American intellectual life."