Society is under the theart of lack of metacognition
There may (...) have been something more involved here as well, something even more troubling: the candidate often didn't know what he was talking about, and he may not have known that he didn't know.
Tom Nichols, a professor of national security affairs at the Naval War College, laments the post-truth world in his 2017 book The Death of Expertise. Nichols is pretty aggressive: "The United States is now a country obsessed with the worship of its own ignorance . . . Google-fueled, Wikipedia-based, blog sodden .. . [with] an insistence that strongly held opinions are indistin-guishable from facts."' Early in the work he introduces the con-cept of metacognition, essentially the ability to think about thinking, which leads to the "ability to know when you're not good at something." He cites a singer knowing when she has hit a sour note, a director knowing when a scene isn't working. If you lack metacognition, those discoveries are beyond you.
Nichols credits a 1999 study by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, research psychologists at Cornell, with driving home this point. Nichols writes, "The lack of metacognition sets up a vi-cious loop in which people who do not know much about a subject do not know when they're in over their head . . . and there is no way to educate or inform people who, when in doubt, will make stuff up."
When I design online ads for American Apparel, I almost always look for an angle that will provoke. Outrage, self-righteousness, and titillation all work equally well. Naturally, the sexy ones are probably those you remember most, but the formula worked for all types of images. Photos of kids dressed up like adults, dogs wearing clothes, ad copy that didn’t make any sense—all high-valence, viral images. If I could generate a reaction, I could propel the ad from being something I had to pay for people to see (by buying ad inventory) to something people would gladly post on the front page of their highly trafficked websites.
But entertainment has the merit not only of being better suited to helping sell goods; it is an effective vehicle for hidden ideological messages. Furthermore, in a system of high and growing inequality, entertainment is the contemporary equivalent of the Roman “games of the circus” that diverts the public from politics and generates a political apathy that is helpful to preservation of the status quo.