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Epistemic Security

This fragmented response to a major world event speaks to a worrying trend that bodes ill for other crises we could face in the 21st Century, from future pandemics to climate change. In our post-truth age, it is becoming increasingly difficult to make sure everyone is well-informed. In other words, even if it was clear how to save the world, a degraded and untrustworthy information ecosystem could prevent it from happening.

In a recent report published by the UK’s Alan Turing Institute, my colleagues and I argue that this change is no less than a threat to global security itself. The terms “national security” or “cyber-security” will be familiar. But we argue that more attention ought to be paid to “epistemic security– because without it, our societies will lose the ability to respond to the most severe risks we face in the future.

Psychologic manipulation by Governments, Religion, and marketing have made a public aware of fraud and power grabs.  Selective enforcement and unneeded laws add fuel to the fire of ignorance and rejection of information.  Freedom of speech means just that we can say anything. But leaders addressing the public can not be less than perfectly clear and honest. In the zest to gain power and money all our leaders have compromised honesty and integrity.  One size does not fit all so why manage the world like all people are equal?

3 thoughts on “Epistemic Security

  1. The trouble is. … who decides? Our lives are full of distortions and disinformation e.g. Brian Sicknick was killed by rioters, George Floyd died because of his skin color.
    There was a time when the New York Times was seen as a dependable source of factual truth – no longer. NYT enabled the lie that allowed Officer Sicknick’s death to be weaponized, and the disgraceful “lying in state” hoax!
    Who you gonna trust? The government, the university? Pravda means “truth”.

    1. Trust, truth, what is real, what is perception? We know that the leaders selectively do what they want without being held responsible. In nature there is no justice so humans have got to want to understand nature that no two people are equal or just.

    2. George Floyd died of natural causes and stress, of poor health caused by drug use. The criminal was under stress being uncooperative. Who has the ability to be a leader? How will voters know the abilities when the media is less than honest? Who enforces honesty on the media? Who watches the enforcer?

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