One can construct knowledge in multiple ways, but the information is not always trustworthy. Tierney’s Diet and Facts demonstrates that knowledge is built through an informational cascade (1). An individual can make decisions about certain questions based on other people’s assumptions, regardless of those assumptions’ reliability (Tierney 1). For instance, the public believes in a direct connection between fat foods and heart disease, although the scientific world has not agreed on the subject (Tierney 1-2). While some researchers have proclaimed that Americans should concentrate on low-fat diets, others prove the opposite (Tierney 1-2). Such scientific ambiguity leads people to lose confidence in previously established institutions, as the overwhelming cascade presents contrary reports.
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Furthermore, each person can construct knowledge based on one’s perspective. In The Constitution of Knowledge, Rauch discusses Donald Trump’s attitude towards disinformation and proposes that the President believed he could create his reality (1). Rauch suggests that the highest power reaches can affect how the public perceives information, sabotaging knowledge structure (1). These days, people’s beliefs are endangered by disinformation in the face of troll attacks that distribute false news (Rauch 3). Although many institutions respond well to the attacks, others do not, such as media, social platforms, and academia (Rauch 5). When some individuals decide to modify the truth, they impact how the public constructs knowledge. While regaining the public’s confidence in certain organizations may require different approaches, Rauch suggests that the community does not have to agree on facts but must follow some rules (2). People should consider scientists’ findings and the authorities’ reports, but the public should also trust its values and experiences.
Many people tend to construct knowledge that is opposed to information provided by experts. Reynolds in The Suicide of Experts states that Americans reject specialists’ advice, as the latter have not kept their promises on evolving the society (1). The public is reluctant to rely on experts who have led the nation to the Vietnam War, attacks of terrorism, and the subprime crisis (Reynolds 1). Reynolds recommends that experts need to be informed, modest, and persuasive to make claims that affect people’s lives (2). Knowledge is constructed by the society facing informational cascades and being disinformed. As a result, people lose confidence in particular institutions and make decisions based on prior affairs. The authorities and the scientific world should prioritize providing the public with reliable information rather than constantly arguing among themselves.
Rauch, Jonathan. “The Constitution of Knowledge.” 2018.
Reynolds, Glenn Harlan. “The Suicide of Experts.” 2017.
Tierney, John. “Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus.” 2007.