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John, Leave it to you to ask the interesting questions. I have felt some
shifts in my own responses to dialogue in this environment. Even as a
self-described left/green/progressive, I have always welcomed positive
dialogue with "conservatives" (and, until quite recently, managed to
produce some positive collaborations and results through such efforts).
Manipulation of information is nothing new, but its intensification and
pervasiveness has made me far more wary about engaging conservatives.

I've had a few recent experiences where I felt "gas-lighted" by
conservatives when my efforts to ask questions (in the open-ended pursuit
of answers) was treated as ideological hostility in service of some
sinister agenda. It can be a mind-boggling experience to discuss policy
with someone who insists on basing a discussion on demonstrably false
information. The trends you describe can make us feel exhausted by the need
to "vet" almost every piece of information. And the bonds of trust are
certainly strained when civic engagement begins on a note of suspicion and
a deficit of goodwill.

I'm far from giving up on the project of public conversation, but I've also
grown a bit more cautious. Dennis Boyer

On Tue, Feb 27, 2018 at 9:35 AM, John Backman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hello, all,
>
>
>
> The unfolding story of Russia’s interference in the U.S. public
> square—particularly its use of social media, fake news, etc., to deepen
> divides—has me wondering: to what extent has this changed the way you think
> of dialogue in general? Has it made any difference in the way you practice
> dialogue? My guess is that those working on national-level dialogues and/or
> issues will be most affected, but I could easily be wrong there.
>
>
>
> As an example: I was chilled by an observation in *The Economist *that,
> in the not too distant future, the craft of fabricating news will become so
> sophisticated that even the most advanced media outlets may have a
> difficult time telling truth from disinformation. Might we completely lose
> our capacity (already eroded) to suss out the accurate information that
> supports many dialogues?
>
>
>
> What do you think?
>
>
>
> John Backman
>
> The Dialogue Venture <http://www.dialogueventure.com/>
>
> www.huffingtonpost.com/john-backman
>
> 2nd VP Membership, International Listening Association
> <http://www.listen.org/>
>
> Author, *Why Can’t We Talk? Christian Wisdom on Dialogue as a Habit of
> the Heart
> <https://www.amazon.com/Why-Cant-We-Talk-Christian/dp/1594734437/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1479226185&sr=8-1&keywords=Why+Can%27t+We+Talk>
> *(SkyLight Paths)
>
>
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