Confirmation bias and conflict

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This essay is on Wikiversity to encourage a wide discussion of the issues it raises moderated by the Wikimedia rules that invite contributors to “be bold but not reckless,” contributing revisions written from a neutral point of view, citing credible sources -- and raising other questions and concerns on the associated '“Discuss”' page.
  • Everyone prefers information and sources consistent with their preconceptions.

This is a well-known phenomenon called “confirmation bias”. It feeds conflict, because each side believes they know things the others don't, which is usually true. This is amplified, because each side often avoids information and sources preferred by the other parties when the “others'” information and sources tend to conflict with “our” preconceptions.[1] When the parties to conflict speak different languages, it becomes difficult for individuals in each side to access the information consumed by the others, even if they want to.

  • The mainstream media exploit this to profit those who control media funding and governance.

Whether accidentally or intentionally, different media organizations have segmented the media market in many different ways. The most obvious type of market segmentation is by language: Native speakers of Chinese or Arabic or French will likely consume different media than native English speakers. However, the media market is segmented in other ways as well. In the US, Fox News caters especially to so-called conservatives, and Fox and the more "liberal" media tend to demonize one another. Market segmentation has become Balkanization, with social media, especially Facebook, being particularly effective at Balkanizing the body politic in ways that support extremist, xenophobic politics and right-wing terrorist attacks.[2]

The combination of these two phenomena imply the following:

  • We are all trapped in our own echo chambers.[3]

At its worst, this implies the following for many and perhaps all armed conflicts:

  • Collateral damage that "they" commit proves to us that they are at best criminally misled and maybe subhuman and must be resisted by any means necessary.
  • Meanwhile, collateral damage that we commit is unfortunate but necessary from our perspective -- but proves to them that we are at best criminally misled and perhaps subhuman and must be resisted by any means necessary.

It becomes virtually (and sometimes even literally) treasonous to suggest that the other side may actually have valid concerns that are unreported or distorted in the media “we” consume. This phenomenon contributes to the maintenance of large nuclear arsenals, which seem to threaten the future of civilization.

The social construction of conflict[edit | edit source]

Each person creates their own "constructed reality" that drives their behaviors.

In 1886 or 1887, Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that, “Facts do not exist, only interpretations.” In his 1922 book Public Opinion, Walter Lippmann said, "The real environment is altogether too big, too complex, and too fleeting for direct acquaintance" between people and their environment. Each person constructs a pseudo-environment that is a subjective, biased, and necessarily abridged mental image of the world, and to a degree, everyone's pseudo-environment is a fiction. People "live [and act] in the same world, but they think and feel [and decide] in different ones."[4] Lippman's “environment” might be called “reality,” and his “pseudo-environment” seems equivalent to what today is called “constructed reality.”

This becomes a problem, because

The mainstream media create the stage upon which politicians read their lines.

For example, former President Eisenhower said, "I have never [communicated] with a person knowledgeable in Indochinese affairs who did not agree that had elections been held as of the time of the fighting [leading to the defeat of the French in 1954], possibly 80 per cent of the population would have voted for the Communist Ho Chi Minh".[5]

This universal expert consensus was completely absent from the mainstream political discourse in the US at that time. Consequently, the socially socially constructed image of Southeast Asia shared by the majority of the US body politic was very different from the lived experiences of most of people in that region. This gap seriously constrained the foreign policies of US Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.

Similarly, there is a substantial body of evidence that suggests that (a) the two primary recruiters for Islamic terrorism may be Saudi Arabia and the US and (b) much of what the US has done in the name of the "War on Terror" has been counterproductive. This further suggests that substantive changes to US policy in this region could force major changes on US international business relations with the Saudis and possibly other authoritarian governments. Any media organization whose coverage was seen as potentially contributing to such changes might expect to lose advertising revenue from multinational business interests that might fear a loss of business from any such changes in policy.

This is illustrated by the line, "We have met the enemy and he is us", which was a common refrain of political cartoon character Pogo. Cartoonist Walt Kelly used this line several times from the McCarthy era of the 1950s, including with multiple issues during the Nixon administration (1969-1974) until Kelly died in 1973. See: 1971 Earth Day poster featuring political cartoon character Pogo saying, "We have met the enemy and he is us."[6]

Individual countermeasures[edit | edit source]

As individuals, we can reset our preconceptions to believe that our opposition will likely have sensible reasons for their positions, which are almost certainly unreported or misrepresented in the media we consume.

Get curious, not angry.

This pushes us to stop paying as much attention to the mainstream media most readily available to “us” and look for alternative sources of information.

It also pushes us to be more accepting of potentially conflicting information. Even if what we hear from other sources seems to be wrong, we might be wise to accept that others may believe those other sources, especially if such beliefs might explain the behaviors we perceive.

If we understand "their" perceptions better, it could reduce the chances that we would unwittingly offend them and increase the chances that we can resolve the conflict constructively. Their behaviors are driven by what they think, not what we think.

Because of confirmation bias, leaders and media outlets become trapped by their own rhetoric: We cannot expect leaders to say something they believe might reduce their following. We cannot expect a media outlet to publish anything that might reduce their audience or offend key managers or the people who control their funding.

Watchdogs rarely bark at their owners.[7]

Chenoweth's 3.5 percent rule[edit | edit source]

Fortunately, change is possible, as documented in research by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan. They created a database of all the major violent and nonviolent governmental change efforts of the twentieth century -- over 300 of them. Twenty-five percent of the violent campaigns were successful and 53 percent of the nonviolent campaigns succeeded. So nonviolence was twice as likely to succeed as violence.[8]

Moreover, every campaign that achieved the support of 3.5 percent of the population was successful. And all of those were nonviolent.[9] If 3.5 percent of the population anyplace finds credible sources of information that contradict the local mainstream media and start asking their friends and neighbors their reactions to these contrary perspectives, they can force a change in public policy. Autocrats of the right and the left have been forced from power by nonviolent movements.

A major contributor to ending the US war in Vietnam was the gradual increase in opposition to the war in the US. By 1970 only a third of Americans believed that the US had not made a mistake by sending troops to fight in Vietnam.[10][11]

In a crudely similar way, the first Earth Day celebrations in 1970 reportedly "brought 20 million Americans out into the spring sunshine for peaceful demonstrations in favor of environmental reform."[12] That was almost 10 percent of the US population of 203 million. The United States Environmental Protection Agency began functioning later that year, December 2.

In Chenoweth and Stephan's successful nonviolent revolutions, in the anti-Vietnam War movement, and in the creation of the EPA, the movement for change started small and built until the mainstream media could no longer conceal enough of the evidence to prevent the changes that people were demanding. The media was forced to change or lose audience, and the leaders were forced to follow. In each case, dissidents stopped believing the dominant narrative and convinced enough others to join them that the media and the leaders were forced to change.

These change movements might have proceeded faster if the people involved had been better at (a) finding credible sources that contradicted the mainstream narrative and (b) asking others in nonthreatening ways what they thought about those contrary sources.

Wikipedia[edit | edit source]

A source that generally has fewer problems with these issues is Wikipedia. It has been recognized as a place where on controversial topics "the two sides actually engaged each other and negotiated a version of the article that both can more or less live with. This is a rare sight indeed in today’s polarized political atmosphere, where most online forums are echo chambers for one side or the other”.[3]

Wikipedia works, because almost anyone can change almost anything on Wikipedia. What stays tends to be written from a neutral point of view citing credible sources. Changes that do not conform to this standard are routinely reverted or modified by others to be more neutral and / or to cite credible sources.

This is a major threat to people in power. Various countries, most notably China, have blocked all or parts of Wikipedia. Turkey blocked all language editions of Wikipedia between 2017-04-29 and 2020-01-15; Wikipedia became available again in Turkey after the Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that the block was unconstitutional.[13]

In March 2013 the French interior intelligence agency DCRI contacted the Wikimedia Foundation claiming that an article in the French-language Wikipedia about a French military compound contained classified information and demanded that it be deleted immediately. The Wikimedia Foundation said it "receives hundreds of deletion requests every year and always complies with clearly motivated requests." In this case, however, the Wikimedia Foundation considered that they did not have enough information and refused the DCRI request. On April 4, 2013, the DCRI summoned a volunteer administrator of the French Wikipedia and resident of France and demanded he immediately delete the article. The volunteer complied, believing he would otherwise be immediately incarcerated and prosecuted.[14] The article was later restored by another Wikipedia contributor who lived outside France.

Attempts to censor Wikipedia have also come from Australia, Germany, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, and Venezuela.[15]

Conservatives in the US have been so concerned about what they claim is a “liberal” bias in Wikipedia that they created “Conservapedia” as an alternative.

Risks in making unpopular statements[edit | edit source]

Opposing the dominant narrative always involves risk. Benjamin Franklin's grandson, Benjamin Franklin Bache, was arrested and charged with libel in 1798 for publishing unflattering remarks about President John Adams.[16] During the twentieth century, Jehova's Witnesses were imprisoned and repeatedly attacked by violent mobs.[17] During the Civil rights movement in the United States, civil rights activists were violent attacked and imprisoned, with some being killed, often with the complicity of law enforcement.[18]

With an issue like the environment that does not involve national security in a fairly open society like the US, the risks from offending the people you talk with are usually fairly low. Morever, the risks from nonviolence are nearly always less than those from violence. Nonviolence is also more likely to attract supporters and less likely to increase the support for your opposition.

A key question is how can one become more persuasive? The operating hypothesis here is that one can often be more persuasive by (a) understanding better the people with whom one is communicating and (b) presenting sources and (c) requesting feedback in a nonthreatening manner.[8]

Countermeasures that can be taken by organizations[edit | edit source]

Governments could reduce the problems created by confirmation bias by funding citizen-directed subsidies for (a) journalism and (b) improved research to improve the use of evidence in public policy. Commercial organizations could similarly offer to donate a small percentage of their gross to such purposes selected by their customers.

I do not want either government bureaucrats nor corporate bureaucrats censoring the information I consume.

The US Postal Service Act of 1792 provided citizen-directed subsidies for journalism, funds whose disbursement was controlled by newspaper subscribers, not by government officials nor advertisers. Under this act, newspapers were delivered up to 100 miles for a penny when first class postage was between 6 and 25 cents depending on distance. McChesney and Nichols (2016) said this represented roughly 0.2 percent of US Gross Domestic product (GDP) in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.[19] They said it had a huge impact of the subsequent success of the US, because it encouraged literacy and limited political corruption, both of which are known to contribute to economic growth. The comparison with contemporary New Spain, which became Mexico in 1821, is striking: The US prospered and grew while New Spain / Mexico fractured, shrank and stagnated economically.[20]

Relevant research[edit | edit source]

To counter the growing threat to democracy from the decline of news media, McChesney and Nichols recommend an internet-savvy reincarnation of the US Postal Service Act of 1972, again funded at 0.2 percent of GDP. This could be done in multiple ways that would be controlled by the public, not politicians nor big money interests. McChesney and Nichols suggested giving each citizen a voucher worth $100 per year (for 0.2 percent of GDP) that they could spend on any combination of qualified noncommercial investigative journalist organizations.[19]

Yale Law professor Bruce Ackerman suggested disbursing a comparable amount on the basis of qualified mouse clicks.[21] Dan Hind proposed "public commissioning" of news, where "Journalists, academics and citizen researchers would post proposals for funding" investigative journalism on a particular issue with a public trust funded from taxes or license fees, with the public voting for the proposals they most supported.[22] Dean Baker suggested an "Artistic Freedom Voucher" to provide citizen-directed subsidies to journalists, writers, artists and musicians, who place their work in the public domain. He claims that our current copyright system locks entirely too much information behind paywalls for far longer than required “to promote the progress of science and useful arts,” as required by the United States Constitution.[23][24]

Julia Cagé recommended “Nonprofit Media Organizations (NMOs),” being charitable foundations with governance shared between the audience, employees and funders..[25] A similar model is provided by community radio stations operated and managed by volunteers. One example is KKFI, a community radio station whose bylaws say it is owned by its “active volunteers”, who must donate at least 3 hours per month on average for over 6 months. Almost 90 percent of their 24/7 broadcast hours are locally produced by volunteers. The rest come from sources like the Pacifica radio network, that includes over 200 listener-sponsored radio stations.[26]

Advertising and accounting[edit | edit source]

Advertising as a percent of gross domestic product in the United States, 1919 to 2007, per Douglas Galbi

However, 0.2 percent of GDP may not be enough: By the middle of the nineteenth century, advertising was becoming the primary source of funding for journalism. Between 1919 and 2007, advertising averaged roughly 2 percent of GDP in the US.

This threatens the editorial independence of mainstream media, because the full range of responsible expert opinion on any major issue is rarely if ever adequately portrayed in the mainstream media. Examples will be discussed in companion articles.

However, the problem of malfeasance in government can actually be divided further into two components:

1. An insufficiency of research on the relative effectiveness of alternative approaches to societal problems, and
2. Public dissemination of and debate on the results of such research and on where more research is needed.

Both of these deficiencies are exacerbated by the suppression and distortion of information that might threaten the social status of those who control media funding and governance.

Citizen-directed subsidies for journalism should help overcome the second deficiency.

To overcome the first deficiency, this article suggests we consider citizen-directed subsidies for research with options proposed for "public commissioning," as suggested by Hind, mentioned above.[22]

Accountants and Auditors as a percent of US households

As a model for an appropriate level of funding for citizen-directed subsidies for research, we might consider how much society spends on accounting and auditing. Most government agencies account for expenditures to the last penny, while the accounting for results rarely gets more than lip service.

The Integrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS) provides microdata samples from various US and international surveys. The accompanying plot of “Accountants and Auditors as a percent of US households” shows households including someone employed as an accountant or auditor increasing from 0.013 percent of households in 1850 to 1.3 percent in 2006 and since.

This suggests targets of 2 percent of GDP for citizen-directed subsidies for journalism and 1 percent for citizen-directed subsidies for research.

This may sound like a lot of money, but it's only roughly 18 months of the economic growth that the US has experienced on average since the end of World War II.[27]

An important aspect of this idea is that some businesses already donate a portion of their profits to charities selected by their customers.[28] We can ask them to help improve the functioning of democracy.

Similarly, governmental bodies could devote a small portion of their budgets for such citizen-directed subsidies. Citizens could ask local politicians to fund what might be called an endowment for journalism that would disburse funds to qualified nonprofit media organizations in proportion to, e.g., qualified internet clicks from IP addresses of residents of the jurisdiction of their respective governmental body. Commercial organizations could advertise their support for democracy by agreeing to donate, e.g., 0.1 or 1 percent of their gross or net to such an endowment for journalism, to be distributed in proportion to the desires of their customers as expressed each time they purchase or later via some mechanism, e.g., sending a photo of a receipt to such an endowment for journalism.

A reasonable target might be to match what the organizations already spend on advertising, public relations, and accounting.

Research needed[edit | edit source]

The details of how to do this effectively in the internet age still need further development. If some organizations publicly agreed to donate a portion of their budgets for this purpose, that could make it easier to get grant money for further research and conferences on exactly how to do this.

Tracking ads[edit | edit source]

Governments could also require all media outlets to maintain databases of the advertisements or "underwriting" announcements with the text that was used in any broadcasts and tags that make them easily searchable with clear identification of who paid for each announcement. This would make it vastly easier than today for political candidates or minorities targeted by disinformation to sue for libel or file criminal complaints for incitement to riot. This with existing law might be enough to reduce the problem of "fake news" to a more manageable level, especially in combination with an International Conflict Observatory, mentioned below.

Vaidhyanathan (2018) Antisocial Media[29] claims that companies like Facebook are "undermining democracy everywhere", because they make it profitable to target groups as small as twenty with ephemeral ads that currently disappear after a short while and therefore cannot be documented unless someone happens to capture it when they see it. "Facebook is working directly with campaigns — many of which support authoritarian and nationalist candidates".[30]

Rather than giving government and corporate bureaucrats legal tools to censor the media and suppress dissent, we should give aggrieved parties tools they can use to find out if they've been defamed. These databases should allow defamed individuals or groups to document the exact nature and source of the disinformation. And they need the ability to seek redress of grievances in the courts.

Media organizations should not be responsible for the content of ads or underwriting unless their documentation is clearly inadequate. Documentation could be deficient either in systematically concealing the true nature of content or the source of funding. The latter should be legally considered a form of money laundering.

Fairness doctrine[edit | edit source]

Between 1949 and 1987 the FCC fairness doctrine required broadcasters in the US to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was—in the FCC's view—honest, equitable, and balanced. The repeal of the fairness doctrine in 1987 seems to have contributed to the increase in partisanship that has occurred since then. This suggests that if we want domestic tranquility, the fairness doctrine should be reinstated and made applicable to all media that carry advertising or underwriting. And the courts should be empowered to decide what is honest, equitable, and balanced.

Conservatives claim that a fairness doctrine would target conservative media.[31] A new fairness doctrine should target unfair media, whether liberal, conservative, or of some other ideology.

Related work[edit | edit source]

Corruption trilogy[edit | edit source]

The so-called "Corruption trilogy"[32] consists of the following:

  1. . Everyone makes most decisions based on what comes most readily to mind.[33]
  2. . We prefer information and sources that reinforce our preconceptions -- confirmation bias.
  3. . The mainstream media everywhere exploit these defects in how humans make decisions to benefit those who control media funding and governance.

The first two points of this “Corruption trilogy” (or “Misinformation trilogy”, to use a more neutral term) is well documented in Thinking, Fast and Slow, which summarizes important work for which Daniel Kahneman won the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, even though he's not an economist: Kahneman established that the models of a “rational person” that have been used for decades by economists do not adequately describe how people think and make decisions.[34]

“Confirmation bias and conflict” is manifested in the research by Waytz, Young, and Ginges (2014) that documented “motive attribution asymmetry” in how members of the Republican and Democratic political parties in the US view each other and how Israelis and Palestinians view each other: Everyone tends to attribute their own and their own group's involvement in conflict to ingroup love more than outgroup hate but attribute the opposing party’s involvement to outgroup hate more than ingroup love. Waitz et al's research included a hopeful experiment that involved offering financial incentives for accuracy in evaluating the opposing party: They found that the financial incentives can mitigate this bias and its consequences. They suggested “that recognizing this attributional bias and how to reduce it can contribute to reducing human conflict on a global scale.” In terms of this discussion of “confirmation bias and conflict”, the fact that something (like financial incentives) can contribute to reducing conflict further suggests that other interventions may also reduce conflict. This provides weak but perhaps nonnegligible support for the interventions suggested above.

Arthur C. Brooks, former President of the American Enterprise Institute, has lamented “Our Culture of Contempt” with “divisive politicians, screaming heads on television, hateful columnists, angry campus activists and seemingly everything on the contempt machines of social media.” It works by confirmation bias and motive attribution asymmetry. He says we would be happier as people and more successful in pursuing our own political objectives if we teach ourselves not to disagree less but to disagree better: He asks us to “turn away the rhetorical dope peddlers — the powerful people on your own side who are profiting from the culture of contempt. ... When you find yourself hating something, someone is making money or winning elections or getting more famous and powerful. Unless a leader is actually teaching you something you didn’t know or expanding your worldview and moral outlook, you are being used.” Brooks asks us to never to treat others with contempt. He says that doing so will make it easier for us to find common ground with our adversaries and create win-win deals that are not possible when we treat others with contempt -- and make us happier as individuals even if it doesn't change the nature of a conflict.[35]

In public testimony before the House Oversight Committee 2019-02-27, Michael Cohen, Donald Trump's attorney and business associate, 2006-2018, said, “I fear that if [Mr. Trump] loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power.”[36] Journalist David Neal said this was due to motive attribution asymmetry, and the future of democratic government in the US may depend on whether after the November 2020 elections, the US body politic can overcome the divisions Cohen mentioned.[37]

International Conflict Observatory[edit | edit source]

An "International Conflict Observatory" might help bridge the divide in conflicts by helping each side better understand its opposition. This might reduce the risk of counterproductive actions by xenophobes and contribute to the development of "win-win" resolutions of conflict.

This claim is consistent with the discussion above, noting that Wikipedia has been recognized as a place where on controversial topics "the two sides actually engaged each other", and built bridges outside their echo chambers.[3]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Daniel Kahneman (25 October 2011), Thinking, Fast and Slow, New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, OCLC 706020998Wikidata Q983718.

Robert W. McChesney; John Nichols (2016), People get ready: The fight against a jobless economy and a citizenless democracy, Nation BooksWikidata Q87619174.

Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 1014: attempt to compare nil with number.Wikidata Q34480942.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Confirmation bias seems to provide a deep psychological foundation for “motive attribution asymmetry” documented in the research of Waytz, Young, and Ginges (2014).
  2. For a discussion of how Facebook contributes to social disharmony, see Siva Vaidhyanathan (12 June 2018), Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-084118-8Wikidata Q56027099.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Peter Binkley (2006), "Wikipedia Grows Up", Feliciter (2): 59–61Wikidata Q66411582
  4. Walter Lippmann (1922), Public OpinionWikidata Q1768450, pp. 16, 20.
  5. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1963), Mandate for Change: The White House Years 1953-1956: A Personal Account, DoubledayWikidata Q61945939, chapter = 14. Chaos in Indochina, p. 372.
  6. This 1971 political cartoon is displayed in the Wikipedia article on Pogo but is not displayed here, the different use suggests that the "irreplaceable" argument used to justify a "fair use" claim there would not apply here with equal force.
  7. In "The Adventure of Silver Blaze", Arthur Conan Doyle had Scotland Yard detective Gregory ask, "Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?" Holmes replied, "To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time." Gregory responded, "The dog did nothing in the night-time." Holmes observed, "That was the curious incident." It is naive to expect a so-called watchdog press to bark at those who provide the money they need to survive. Media organizations that report too much generally lose funding and cease publishing or change their editorial policies. Investigative journalists who threaten to expose too much don't stay long with the mainstream media. Those who remain can have great careers, and are often incensed at the suggestion that they somehow pull their punches. Many of those seem unaware that journalists who ask "inappropriate" questions that might offend people who give them money rarely last long in those organizations.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Erica Chenoweth; Maria Stephan (2011), Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict, Columbia University PressWikidata Q88725216
  9. Erica Chenoweth (4 November 2013), My Talk at TEDxBoulder: Civil Resistance and the “3.5% Rule”Wikidata Q62223350
  10. Lunch, W. & Sperlich, P. (1979). The Western Political Quarterly. 32(1). pp. 21–44
  11. Hagopain, Patrick (2009). The Vietnam War in American Memory. University of Massachusetts Press. pp. 13–4. ISBN 978-1558496934., cited from the Wikipedia article on the w:Vietnam War#Opposition to U.S. involvement, 1964–73, accessed 2020-03-24.
  12. Jack Lewis (November 1985). "The Birth of EPA". w:United States Environmental Protection Agency. Archived from the original on September 22, 2006.. Cited from the Wikipedia article on "Earth Day", 2020-03-24.
  13. Can Sezer; Daren Butler; Ali Kucukgocmen; Ezgi Erkoyun; Stephen Coates (14 January 2020), Turkey ban on Wikipedia lifted after court ruling, ReutersWikidata Q88728168
  14. Christophe Henner (6 April 2013), "French homeland intelligence threatens a volunteer sysop to delete a Wikipedia Article", Wikimedia FranceWikidata Q88563098
  15. Wikipedia article on "Censorship of Wikipedia", retrieved 2020-03-26.
  16. Raffi Andonian, "The Adamant Patriot: Benjamin Franklin Bache as Leader of the Opposition Press", University of Pennsylvania LibrariesWikidata Q88571873
  17. Archibald Cox (1987), The court and the constitution, Houghton Mifflin HarcourtWikidata Q88575527, esp. p. 189
  18. Athan Theoharis; Tony G. Poveda; Susan Rosenfeld; Richard Gid Powers, eds. (1999), The FBI : a comprehensive reference guide, Oryx PressWikidata Q88578313>
  19. 19.0 19.1 Robert W. McChesney; John Nichols (2016), People get ready: The fight against a jobless economy and a citizenless democracy, Nation BooksWikidata Q87619174, p. 167
  20. Wikiversity, "The Great American Paradox", accessed 2020-03-26.
  21. Bruce Ackerman (2010), The decline and fall of the American republic, Harvard University PressWikidata Q87626180<!- The Decline and Fall of the American Republic -->, ch. 5. Enlightening politics. See also Bruce Ackerman (2013), "Reviving Democratic Citizenship?", Politics & Society, 41 (2): 309–317, doi:10.1177/0032329213483103Wikidata Q29041557
  22. 22.0 22.1 Hind, Dan (2010). "10. Public Commissioning". The Return of the Public. Verso. pp. 159–160. ISBN 978-1-84467-594-4.
  23. Baker, Dean (November 5, 2003), The Artistic Freedom Voucher: An Internet Age Alternative to Copyrights (Briefing paper), Center for Economic and Policy Research, retrieved 2017-03-30
  24. See also Free Culture: Lessig, Lawrence (2015). Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity (US paperback ed.). Petter Reinholdtsen. ISBN 978-82-690182-0-2.
  25. Julia Cagé (2016), Saving the Media: Capitalism, Crowdfunding, and Democracy, Harvard University Press, ISBN 978-0-674-65975-9Wikidata Q54640583<!- Saving the Media: Capitalism, Crowdfunding, and Democracy -->
  26. Bylaws and PoliciesWikidata Q88190284
  27. MeasuringWorthWikidata Q88193829
  28. e.g., CREDO Mobile.
  29. Siva Vaidhyanathan (12 June 2018), Antisocial Media: How Facebook Disconnects Us and Undermines Democracy, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-084118-8Wikidata Q56027099
  30. pp 195-196 of 275 and chapter 6. "The Politics Machine" and its section on "The Damage" more generally
  31. e.g., "'Fairness' is Censorship". The Washington Times. June 17, 2008. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
  32. Spencer Graves (October 2019), "Corruption trilogy", PeaceWorks Kansas City NewsletterWikidata Q89273749.
  33. This is the "fast thinking" described in Thinking, Fast and Slow by research psychologist Daniel Kahneman, who won the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize on Economic for his leadership in developing much of the research summarized in Thinking, Fast and Slow.
  34. Kahneman's seminal contributions helped create a branch of economics research called “behavioral economics”.
  35. Arthur C. Brooks (2 March 2019), "Our culture of contempt", The New York TimesWikidata Q92126239.
  36. Kevin Breuninger; Dan Mangan (27 February 2019), "Michael Cohen: 'I fear' Trump won't peacefully give up the White House if he loses the 2020 election", CNBCWikidata Q92133972.
  37. David Neal (3 March 2019), "Psychological group bias distorted by technology stokes dangerous primal tribalism", Working Journalist PressWikidata Q92132254