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Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance Paperback – May 12, 2008
History To Repeat & Some To Not
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Sheila Jasanoff, Harvard University
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Top Customer Reviews
That aside, the emphasis in these short essays is on ignorance purposefully produced. This is usually in order to conceal controversial information and misdirect public opinion into narrow channels of influence for the benefit of select groups interested in their own welfare, public-be-damned. Big Tobacco, military secrecy, and climate science manipulation (with special emphasis on the conservative Marshall Institute) -- all are addressed here with multiple documented examples of conscious attempts to persuade the public, even, and sometimes especially, via the sins of omission.
Many of us have asked ourselves "How can common sense and obvious data be so subverted as to create a "through the looking-glass" world in which mass opinion seems upside-down . . . the opposite of what any reasonable, questioning and thinking person would conclude? Some of the answers lie here, in examples of profound manipulation and obvious distortion in presenting such information to the citizenry.
How could Big Tobacco morph so easily from a protestation that tobacco smoke doesn't harm, to a tacit acknowledgment that it does, but so-what? Buy it anyway! No apologies here! And the public accepts that?
How can climate deniers refuse to see that pumping so much carbon into the atmosphere will inevitably change the natural balance?Read more ›
in the GOP war on science I suggest you read this book.
It is the level of writing that is atrocious. Maybe I should have waited for the Bill Bryson version, or for anyone who could use these materials to fashion a book that doesn't insult the language and waste one's time. These writers, to a person, are academics, and almost all should be soundly thrashed with a hardbound copy of Strunk & White. This is a compendium of every fault scholarly writing is heir to: wordiness, redundancy, needless complexity of sentence structure (often designed to mask or extend mundane observations), pointless jargon, infelicitous phraseology, obscurantism, even lame humor (as per the double entendres in the essay on the clitoris, by a feminist no less!) that probably plays better in the senior seminar than in a book intended for mature adults. These scholars write as though being paid by the word--and for a nonexistent editor. The book could have been half its length with no sacrifice whatever to the content.
My advice, if you are intent on owning this insult, is to skim or speed-read the essays as fast as possible, gleaning the ideas without having to indulge the authors in their padding and verbal ineptitude.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is not easy reading. The authors are from academic institutions and the vocabulary reflects this. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Uwe Manthei
A couple of examples in not enough for developing a theory. We all know what happens with tobaco and pharmaceutical industry. I expected a lot morePublished 16 months ago by Patricia
who can resist a book about ignorance, sort of zen trip into scientific not knowing. the whole idea that what you don't know is more important that what you do is though-provoking.Published 20 months ago by Kindle Customer
A fun topic but the book is sloppy and filled with unsourced fictional quotes and dubious facts - which are a form of ignorance that the authors seem unaware of. E. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Del Monte