This tab has been open in my browser at work since July 11th, because I’ve been meaning to finish reading this article and posting it, but I just haven’t gotten to it.
From “How facts backfire” in The Boston Globe:
[W]e often base our opinions on our beliefs, which can have an uneasy relationship with facts. And rather than facts driving beliefs, our beliefs can dictate the facts we chose to accept. They can cause us to twist facts so they fit better with our preconceived notions. Worst of all, they can lead us to uncritically accept bad information just because it reinforces our beliefs. This reinforcement makes us more confident we’re right, and even less likely to listen to any new information. And then we vote.
This dovetails with what Drew Westen was saying when I first saw him at Netroots Nation in 2007, and — going back a few years — George Lakoff’s work on frames.
This being an unfinished thought, I guess I shouldn’t feel too much pressure to come up with some kind of pithy conclusion (beyond this pointless sentence).