Noam Chomsky: Why Americans Know So Much About Sports But So Little About World Affairs

Lately I’ve been spending time on reddit reading ideas in the comments about how we should think about and respond to the Snowden revealations, and similar leaks relating to the behaviour of well-financed branches of government.

We’ve no good reason to believe in conspiracy theories so I’m not sure how we ought to think claims that the system is actively working against citizens to maintain its power. In particular, it’s often claimed that the media is used to distract people from real issues. No one individual is behind that, so should we think of the government as constituting an agent, that manipulates the population through the media, as the macro-level effect of the various actions its employees make? Do we then need to think of the government as pre-meditating these things, or might something akin to evolutionary theory better explain what happens? Or is the lack of demand for real news throughly the fault of the non-government? I’d like to read some political scientists writing about ths.

Relevant song: John Mayer – Waiting on the World to Change