This is a blog about objective knowledge and individual beliefs. How can we apply insights from cognitive science and social epistemology to everyday opinion-forming?

Every society must have some prevailing standard for distinguishing between reality and illusion. What is the right yardstick for distinguishing the few true beliefs from the many false ones? And who should set that standard? How does this criterion get formed, and how do we, in turn, rely on it when forming personal beliefs: what do you think you know, and how do you think you know it? What happens when the standard is hacked or misfires and a piece of fact blessed with the stamp of common sense turns out to be a myth? How can we tell when this has happened? When should we trust a contrarian expert instead of social consensus, and how do we know which one? Plus, if you go that route, how do you answer the voices that call you a potential crackpot?

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