Word of the Day: Agnotology

Definition: “the study of culturally-induced ignorance or doubt.”

According to John Quiggin, an agnotological belief acts as a political shibboleth, “that is, an affirmation that marks the speaker as a member of their community or tribe. Asserting a belief that would be too absurd to countenance for anyone outside a given tribal/ideological group makes for a good political shibboleth.”

Example: The belief that February 4th was the launch of a civilian-military revolt rather than an old fashioned coup attempt.

Hat tip: Chait.

8 thoughts on “Word of the Day: Agnotology

  1. Depressing!

    “They believe it and don’t believe it at the same time”

    It may be behind what I call ‘polite racism’.

  2. “If it were not for Chávez, we would have no Pdvsa” (From El Universal)

    I wonder if this would not have been a mixed blessing. If you had nothing – then there would be nothing to destroy, we would therefore not know any better and look for oil to come instead of oil to end.

    Sorry that there is a “crude” ending to this. No input, no output!!!!!

  3. Solo aqui un presidente se enorgullece de decir esto:

    Chávez: el salario mínimo se ha incrementado ininterrumpidamente desde la llegada de la Revolución (Y yo les digo: Los Apagones Ahorran Luz….)

    Chávez ordena protección de inquilinos y dice: “está prohibido utilizar la fuerza pública en contra de los débiles jurídicos” (WTF???????)

    Chávez: Venezuela marcha a la cabeza de los países que han reducido la desigualdad, medida por el coeficiente de Gini. (BTW:WHO CERTIFIES THE NUMBERS ARE REAL FOR THE FORMULA?)

    Chávez en sus líneas dominicales: las adversidades nos han venido a advertir que una Revolución sólo logra instaurarse… (Translation it is bad because the revolution is working, just like bad medicine is good for your)

    This is the magical crap the “people” get fed from our leader and somehow people think it is all hunky dory and good and CH is Saint Rafael battling against a great number of evils (capitalism, IV Republic, the Empire, The oposition, etc) intent on crippling his revolution to the degree the battle keeps running on and on indefinitively!

    CH is in an eternal struggle against such forces, the ones people never actually get to see except by great shaman CH and his wizard army of ministers, meanwhile the country falls to pieces but it seems a necessary price to bear until his revolution finally gives you what it has promised all along.

    People are incredibly naive and forgiving, to the point that if CH were to kill their first born, in the name of the revolution, they somehow would still believe CH is doing the right thing for the right reasons….how do you fight that level of “cult” mindset??? Thruth alone just somehow does not seem convincing enough to cut it!

    Is rethoric truly the only language venezuelans really understand? They follow Ch’s his every word believing in the” salvation by revolution” even if the SS Titanic (Venezuela) is sinking rapidly by CH at the helm ramming it against just about every iceberg it finds in its path while he is getting rid of every life vest and lifeboat and anything that can float the country out of this disaster…

    Never have I seem the likes of a lucky SOB to find so many sheep full of gold fleeces and happy to be stripped of every bit of it without any struggle, they just lay down and say “do me first”

  4. Is it safe to say that it is an agnotology that the social programs such as Robinson II, Ribas, Sucre missions are helping the lower class with education and medical aid. When in fact many of these missions are 1) not funded correctly, the infastructure to this idea sucks, the organization by the staff is terrible, not to mention that many of the ‘students’ don’t even show up. (1) 2)Lets not forget that the money the government is taking in from many of the ‘nationalized’ industries is supposed to be going to these programs when in fact they have slowly yet dramatically lowered the funding for such institutions (2).
    Any thoughts?
    (1)http://deportes.eluniversal.com/2007/03/22/pol_art_an–investigara-irre_220748.shtml
    (2)http://www.eluniversal.com/2009/02/10/opi_art_que-esta-sucediendo_10A2220713.shtml

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