- I'm asked to get specific.
"All right, Brin, you're convincing that there's an all-out war against facts and all fact-using professions, from science, journalism and teaching to the FBI and Officer Corps. But what can we do about it?"
I've spoken on this at Google and Facebook, at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and many other places where there's rising concern over what seems to be a concerted campaign not only against those professions -- (see Shawn Otto's The War on Science and Tom Nichols's book The Death of Expertise) -- but against even the notion that there's such a thing as Objective Reality! That anything is testable or provable.
Mind you, this stab at the heart of enlightenment civilization won't be blunted by corporate or government action, alone. One-by-one, we must sway our fellow citizens to forego the drug high of incantations and assertions, returning instead to the adult art of pragmatic negotiation.
But law and politics can play a role! And so -- suppose we get a Congress that's willing to push back against idiocracy. What item should be number one on its 'contract' or to-do list? How about ending the War on Facts?
I wrote the following at the request of the Internet Caucus of the recent convention in San Diego, of the California Democratic Party. It is posted in full on my website here.
== Ending the tyranny of lies and liars... without a "Ministry of Truth" ==
The "Fact Act" will help restore access to useful and confirmable information for public officials, politicians and citizens. Rather than establishing some suspect "Ministry of Truth,"1 this legislation will encourage systems that use diversity, competition and grownup adversarial methods, helping leaders and the public to parse lies and distractions from assertions that are supported by strong evidence.2
Under the Fact Act, Congress will: