Considering Reality Bubbles

LOL things matter?

Lately I've been getting caught up in the "LOL nothing matters" school of thought. It applies pretty broadly, across elections, policy, economics etc. The basic logic is:

If we take this seriously, then facts literally do not matter, and so talk of trying to moderate policy to appeal to moderate voters makes no sense. And without being able to counter fantasy with facts, things can go off the rails pretty fast.

An example: 2020 election trutherism ("stop the steal"). Polls are showing 60 to 80 percent of Republicans not believing Joe Biden's electoral victory was legitimate. (The usual caveats with opinion polling apply: people tend to percieve the questions as "are you Team Red or Team Blue" and answer accordingly). No amount of information on election procedures will convince any of these people that van-loads of fake ballots didn't get dropped into the counts. (How would the total number of ballots still line up with the total number of people who cast votes?)

This goes back a long way, at least to Gingrich; I remember posting (forget the forum, probably Fark) that we should exploit the reality bubble by just telling Republicans they already won the election, and any reference to "President Kerry" was just the lieberal MSM mainstream media. Somewhere a monkey's paw curled its finger...


Taken literally this all leads to despair though - there's no plausible way to make communication harder, human nature won't change, so this can't possibly get any better. So I have to be skeptical of it because I'm prone to despair.

Possible weak points:

Further study

I think I need to do some study in this area, like I did with econ when that was driving despair. I know there are disinformation researchers e.g. Zeynep Tufecki. Surely some people out there are studying this type of unintentional self-reinforcing disinformation. I should see what they have to say.

Promising a future post with what I find out.