Is Everything Falling Apart?

Source: Nonzero Newsletter
by Robert Wright

“The psychologist Jonathan Haidt has bad news for us. In a much discussed Atlantic piece called ‘Why the Past 10 Years of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid,’ he lays out a view of our situation that’s grimmer than that grim title suggests — even if you throw in the grim subtitle: ‘It’s not just a phase.’ Haidt opens his piece (which is in the actual physical May issue of the magazine, as well as online) by invoking the biblical story of Babel — in which God sees that humans are building a tower to heaven and decides to teach them a lesson …. There are three main culprits in Haidt’s story, three things that have torn our world asunder: the like button, the share button (or, on Twitter, the retweet button), and the algorithms that feed on those buttons.” (04/29/22)