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The Dark Side of Technology$
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Peter Townsend

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790532.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 September 2021

Rejection of Knowledge and Information

Rejection of Knowledge and Information

(p.261) 14 Rejection of Knowledge and Information
The Dark Side of Technology

Peter Townsend

Oxford University Press

There is a fallacy that people are always eager to learn. This chapter discusses some of the reasons why new information or ideas are rejected or ignored. In some cases, rejection is from deep-rooted prejudices, or cultural, or religious attitudes. Caution is a wise first strategy, but additionally there is an inherent human response of distrust that gives a reluctance to accept new ideas. This ingrained attitude undermines many advances and progress that could benefit mankind. Nevertheless, many ideas that were initially rejected may become mainstream thought within a generation. Examples from a range of key ideas and innovations that have been initially rejected are discussed. Factors such as religion and xenophobia are considered. However, ideas presented by familiar experts are often accepted, independently of the quality of the facts. The chapter discusses some routes that can overcome this instinctive barrier to learning.

Keywords:   distrust, prejudices, experts, xenophobia

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