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Virtual Insanity

by M.G. Siegler


A Conversation with President Obama on Political Courage

You could almost quote all of President Obama's remarks in his chat with Jack Schlossberg (grandson of President Kennedy). Instead, I'll pick a few (and you should read the rest):

I think by the time I had gone through a big crisis in the world economy and had disabled the auto industry and had been subject to a lot of criticism and had lost the majority in Congress and been subject to more criticism, there’s something about experience that oftentimes helps you have some political courage because you realize that the sun will come up the next day, and you’re going to over the long term feel better about the work that you did if you focus on being true to yourself and your values and your principles.
And what I found was the longer I was in the presidency, the more certain I was, not about outcomes, but about what should drive the decisions that I make.

It's almost impossible to believe that we went from this President to the current clown. Meanwhile, on the topic of fake news.

Before I got to law school, though, when I think about my education, the parts that have been most valuable have been training your mind to think critically about problems, teaching yourself that if I don’t know about a subject, how do I get reliable information? How do I value facts? How do I recognize when an argument is slick but not necessarily true? How do you distinguish between points of view that are superficially appealing but may not actually meet the test of time? And so you get in those habits.


The challenge is that the curation, the sorting, the filters that might have helped us distinguish between what’s true and what’s false, have all broken down, and it puts a greater responsibility on each of us I think to be able to be good consumers of information.
For me, the most important thing is to be able to test what we read. And that means not just assuming because something is — looks nicely typed, because it’s on a screen, that we take it as gospel. And that process of asking questions I think is critical.

This is obvious. And yet a huge percentage of our country does not seem to do this. It's maddening. 


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