About Mike Elias

Mike is building the credibility layer of the internet at ideamarket.io. Newsletter & other work: mikeelias.com.

Pascal’s Market

(Part 3 of a series. See Part 1 and Part 2.)

Every publisher insists upon its own epistemic solvency.

Image credit: Scott Herren

Given so many competing epistemic reserve banks (i.e., publishers), which ones keep enough truth in reserve to cover their reserve notes (articles)?

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Epistemic Reserve Notes

The metaphor of learning-as-purchasing pervades language — “are you buyin’ this?”

What is the currency of knowledge exchange?

Perhaps it used to be ‘facts’ — but as explored in Wittgenstein’s Revenge, focusing on facts will never improve public discourse.

We need a new “epistemic currency,” common to everyone. Fortunately, one already exists, and it’s more fundamental than facts: Trust.

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Wittgenstein’s Revenge

We treat facts like they’re “atoms of truth” — small, indivisible, solid — and if you add them up, you get “big truths.”

But like atoms, facts are mostly empty space, and the closer we examine them, the less solidity we find.

It may be time to graduate from the metaphor of facts completely, to a metaphor that reflects a healthier relationship between truth and people.

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