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Lizard People in the Library

Project Information Literacy Provocation SeriesBy Barbara Fister February 3, 2021: “As “research it yourself” becomes a rallying cry for promoters of outlandish conspiracy theories with real-world consequences, educators need to think hard about what’s missing from their information literacy efforts. Information systems that we use in our daily lives map the divisions that have become a fixture of American social life, exposing a topology of deep epistemological rifts. Take QAnon, for example. The rise of this multi-headed hydra of conspiracy theories that are factually absurd, yet are widely disseminated online and in public life, shows how a community was able to form itself around a radically divergent set of assumptions about how we know what is real. Those assumptions were not a benign online eccentricity: They fomented violence, including an insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol — and on democracy itself…How could such extravagantly counter-factual beliefs attract so many adherents and cause so much damage to democracy?..”

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